Saturday 4 March 2023

Little Owl on a chilly day

On a cold grey day, the male Little Owl at the Round Pond came out of his hole for a quick look around before going back in.

The Long-Tailed Tit pair nesting near the bridge flitted about in the bushes ...

... but the star here was a Goldcrest calling and dashing all over the place.

Some of the Redwings near the Speke obelisk dared to come down to look for worms, in spite of a fair number of people and dogs.

A Coal Tit in the Flower Walk posed obligingly on a paperbush flower.

The pair at Mount Gate will both come to my hand now.

A Starling ate an apple that someone had put out for the Rose-Ringed Parakeets. Everyone was photographing the parakeets and only I paid any attention to this ordinary but beautiful bird.

A Jackdaw shelled a peanut on a branch above.

A male Pied Wagtail trotted along the edge of the Serpentine, twittering loudly. This may have been because the two females I filmed yesterday were a short distance away up the shore.

A pair of Black-Headed Gulls with the dark brown heads of their breeding plumage performed their courtship ritual. They will be off soon, perhaps as far as Russia or maybe just to the Pitsea landfill site near  Basildon.

One of the Grey Heron chicks on the island was standing on the edge of the nest. They are beginning to get adventurous.

I filmed this pair of Great Crested Grebes dancing a couple of days ago. This time I arrived just as they were beginning the full dance, so here is their post-dance display, which gradually calmed down and they went off happily side by side to look for a nest site.

The Little Grebe in the Italian Garden was again harassed by the Moorhen. I don't understand why the Moorhen dislikes this amiable little creature which gets on well with all the other birds.

One of the super blonde Egyptians on the Serpentine was preening, showing her pale wings.

I haven't seen Blondie for a while (her flight feathers are ash grey). I hope she's all right.

The blond male was making overtures to a female. Is this the female who jilted him last year after they had hatched goslings?

The Egyptians' nest at the Henry Moore sculpture seems to have failed without any goslings hatching. The pair were on the grass looking depressed.

A premature Holi celebration. They really shouldn't be doing this till Wednesday, the day after the full moon.


  1. What are they doing? What's Holi? Showing my utter ignorance here.
    I hope Blondie is OK. If something had happened to her we'd know, right? She's large and distinctive enough. We'd know already.

    I think people pointing their cameras at the exotic parakeets, blights that they are, and missing out on the perfectly shiny and intelligent Starling is a testament to our times. Unfortunately.

    1. Holi is a Hindu spring festival and on its second day, after a preliminary evening celebration of the first spring new moon, people throw coloured water and powder over each other. The caste system is temporarily abandoned, as in the Christmas celebrations of the Lord of Misrule, at at some times in the past it was permissible for untouchables to pelt the emperor. This was such honest fun that other Indian religions have joined in the festival, such as Sikhs and even the austere Jains.

      I would much rather watch a Starling going about its business than a gaudy invader.


    2. Last year the black-headed gulls left on 18 March - apart from the one that you spotted that missed out and stayed here all spring! I may be imagining this but there seem an awful lot more around at the moment than earlier, and I was wondering if the parks are a gathering point prior to the migration. Joe

    3. Yes, you do get fluctuations in numbers. They could be gathering before departure, or it might be a group passing through on their way from somewhere else to the Channel.