Sunday 28 May 2023

A Peregrine's lunch

The female Peregrine was on the barracks tower with feathers stuck to her ferocious bill. She took off as soon as I had taken a hasty picture ...

... and flew round to the other side of the tower, where sad remains drooping off the ledge  revealed the Feral Pigeon she was eating.

The male Little Owl from the Round Pond again took off from the nest tree as I approached and flew inside the adjacent horse chestnut, where I just managed to get a picture of him glaring down at me.

He gets more nervous and defensive as the nesting season approaches. Last year he actually buzzed me twice, coming within inches of my head. I hate to disturb this lovely owl, but he really ought to be used to me by now.

A Jackdaw at the leaf yard was also staring, but in this case it was wondering when it was going to get a peanut.

A Wren darted about in the bushes near Peter Pan.

A Grey Heron stood among the water lilies in the Italian Garden, hoping a fish would show itself under the edge of a leaf.

The dominant Mute Swan pair on the Serpentine hadn't found anyone on the north side to feed them and their six cygnets the unhealthy bread they love, so the mother pulled up algae from the bottom of the lake and distributed it to her young. This is what they should be eating anyway, plus a good ration of aquatic invertebrates to provide the protein the growing cygnets need.

Back on the south side near their nest, the dominant male came dangerously close to the Greylag Geese and their five goslings. There was no chance of chasing this huge thug away, but luckily their combined hissing and defensive lunges made him back off.

The solitary surviving Mallard duckling is beginning to take on quite an adult appearance.

The sunshine brought out butterflies, including a Speckled Wood near the Round Pond ...

... and a Common Blue in the Rose Garden. The underside of their wings isn't blue at all ...

... and it's only when they turn round that they live up to their name.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he got a Brown Argus.

He also sent some fine bird photographs. Spoonbills flew in ...

... and three stood on the edge of an island.

A Whitethroat perched in a patch of bishopsweed.

A female Bearded Tit did the splits in the reeds.


  1. I have yet again missed the owl for the millionth time this week! I do not know how you manage to find them!

    1. Perhaps that recalcitrant owl is slightly less afraid of me than he is of other people. I have been pointing a camera with an enormous white lens at him for two years and it hasn't done him any harm.

    2. What a shame.
      When do you think is the best time of the day and weather to look for them? I really hope to see them soon.

    3. A sunny windless weekday is best. There may be a slight advantage is coming early or late, but on good days they can be seen at any hour.

    4. Thank you, I will keep an eye out

  2. What gorgeous pictures of butterflies.I know next to nothing about butterfly ID, so they afford a great chance to learn and also enjoy.
    Really, the Little Owl should know by now you're no threat to him and his babies.

    1. I know next to nothing about butterflies either, but I have a little book. And for such purposes books are better than web sites, because you can flip through the pages very quickly looking for a match.