Sunday 2 July 2023

Different Little owlets

A young Robin on the edge of the Rose Garden was just getting its first red feathers.

A Wren sang beside the Long Water.

A Little owlet at the Serpentine Gallery perched on the broken top of the sweet chestnut nest to their nest tree. The tree is hollow from top to bottom and they climb about inside it, sometimes appearing out of a lower hole.

Later it flew back to the nest tree and posed on a branch, looking so charming that I just have to put up another picture.

There was quite a wind at the exposed Round Pond but the male adult was out in the morning, fluffed up to keep warm.

When I photographed the two Round Pond owlets together on Thursday they were looking quite different from each other, one being much rounder. At the time I just thought it was was fluffed up and the other wasn't. But Joe Downing sent me a picture of the round owlet looking exactly the same. It has the look of a female Little Owl, but I'm surprised that it should start looking like that so early in its life -- I think it's about eight weeks old.

Here for comparison is the other owlet.

Another picture from Joe, an excellent shot of the local Hobby.

A Great Crested Grebe worked along the edge of the Serpentine hoovering up tiny fish in the shallows.

The grebe nest at the outflow was washed away yesterday when the wind got up. They hadn't laid any eggs. There's plenty of time for them to start again in a more sensible place (though grebes lack judgement about which places are sensible).

The nest by the Diana fountain reed bed is still intact, ramshackle as it looks.

So is the one on the Long Water opposite Peter Pan.

Coot chicks can submerge briefly even when very young but they have to learn to go right down and crop algae, which they do by copying their parents. This is the family at the bridge.

A teenage Moorhen was still being fed by a parent, although it was perfectly capable of finding its own food.

The milling crowds had obliged the Mandarin and her duckling to cross the lake, where they were resting on the little landing stage, which is fenced off and usually free of people.

The Egyptian Geese with seven teenagers were keeping out of the way beside one of the small boathouses.

The Bar-Head x Greylag cross is an experienced park bird and used to crowds. It saw me and trotted up for a peanut.

A Meadow Brown butterfly drank from a knapweed flower.

A rather tattered Comma rested on the path in the allotment, and held its ground even when examined at close quarters by a family.

It even consented to climb on to an outstretched hand, and stayed there for a couple of minutes before flying off.


  1. I have not been to the park for ages so all of this is getting very exciting. I will look for the Hobby soon and the Comma butterflies which look to be very interesting!

    1. I think it was you who told me about the wide variety of insects in the allotment, so I visit it often.

  2. I have sometimes seen butterflies resting on the pavestones, but I never knew if it was because they were tired, or just having a bit of a sun-in in peace.
    Odd that the female Little Owlet should be so round so young. It's almost as if it was maturing at an accererated rate. An early bloomer of sorts?

    1. I'm thinking that the Comma was old and tired. It could and did fly, though.

      Not even sure that the round owlet is female. The whole thing is baffling.

  3. Hi I am the lady with butterfly so nice to see the butterfly went on my finger and all the way climbing into my hand so I opened my hand and show to Mr Handcock who is happened to be in the park at the same time . Thank you

    1. It was a magic moment. Very glad to have been there at the right time and captured it.