Thursday 2 March 2023

Little Owls together

Sunshine brought out the male Little Owl from the hole in the end of the branch of the dead tree near the Round Pond.

But it was Petteri Hautamaa who got the best picture on his recent visit to London: the pair side by side looking out of the lower hole. The male is on the left.

The Kensington Gardens flock of Redwings is very mobile, and today they were next to the leaf yard.

This contrasts with the Hyde Park ones, which stay within an area only a hundred yards wide. Today these were up in the trees and I didn't get a picture.

A male Chaffinch came out on the paperbush in the Flower Walk.

A Jackdaw shone on the sunlight on the sign at the Vista, which explains in rather grandiose terms how the Henry Moore sculpture wasn't put up properly and had to be taken down and put up again.

A Wren hopped around unobtrusively in the bushes in the Rose Garden.

A Pied Wagtail trotted down the edge of the lake at the Lido restaurant.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull looked immaculate in the sunlight.

There are more Common Gulls than usual this year. Here is a row of eight on the buoys at the Lido. Alan Gibson saw two with Norwegian rings together in Kensington Gardens.

The second pair of Grey Herons are still wandering around looking undecidedly at nests, here at the west end of the island.

One of the first pair's chicks stood up in the nest, looking gawky and gormless.

It will be a while before it attains the quiet elegance of last year's young.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes performed their display and weed dance, seen from the bridge.

The Little Grebe in the Italian Garden washed and preened and had a bit of a flap to settle its feathers.

Another excellent picture from Petteri. In order to get this water level view he had to reach over the kerb of the pool holding the camera with the big heavy lens at arms' length, a most uncomfortable position.

The female Mute Swan, missing yesterday, is back in the Italian Garden but in a different pool from her mate and ignoring him. Perhaps she saw him eyeing another female -- after all, he deserted his first mate for her so fidelity is clearly not his thing.

A view looking down from the parapet of the Serpentine outflow where a pair of Mallards were resting on the weir.


  1. That female swan ought to keep in mind the Spanish saying (paraphrasing): "what he did with you, he'll do to you".
    Amazing picture of the Little Owl couple. I wonder how they spent the long days of winter sheltered both of them in the hole. I wonder if Little Owls can carry out conversations with one another, or maybe they just sit there in a trance, waiting for winter to end.

    1. The whole swan story seems to be about gaining territory at the expense of loyalty. All too like us humans.

      Little Owls do seem to be genuinely fond of their mates, and occasionally you see them preening each other as in the picture I put in the tenth anniversary post last April.

      (Gosh, it's coming up to the eleventh anniversary now.)

    2. Almost a blink of an eye. It feels as if it was yesterday.

  2. "Gawky and pointless" about describes my life... Lovely pictures and smashing video of the grebes

    1. Better to be a young heron than an old coot, I suppose.