Tuesday 25 July 2023

Five Little Owls

Five Little Owls appeared today. At the Round Pond the female ...

... and one of the owlets were in the horse chestnut tree they favour at the moment.

At the Serpentine Gallery the female ...

... and an owlet, their only one I think, were in their usual lime tree.

Later the male showed up in the nest tree ...

... and started calling.

While I was here a male Chaffinch which I have seen before came out on a twig and chirped crossly at me for getting too close to his family.

A Magpie beside the Long Water was looking very worn and tatty, while its immaculate and still slightly fluffy offspring perched above it.

A Robin in the bushes behind the Lido accepted a pine nut I threw to it.

A Grey Heron posed elegantly on the dead willow by the Italian Garden.

The Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water were fussing around their nest, but annoyingly no chick would stick its head out although I filmed for several minutes.

I did get a still picture showing the top of a little stripy head showing for a moment on its parent's back. Better luck tomorrow maybe.

On the near side of the water the two Mallard ducklings were still in good order.

The dominant Mute Swans from the Serpentine, with their five cygnets, seem to be making a power play on the Long Water. They had advanced up to the Vista. Here is the mother with the young ones touting for food.

I couldn't see the resident swans at this time. Later I saw that they had parked their two cygnets in a well hidden spot under s weeping willow, and from the Italian Garden I was able to get a long shot of the male near the Vista, who was having a faceoff with another male.

But note that in this picture there are two adults at the water's edge, presumably the pair from the Serpentine, and the resident male is busking with another intruding male. He is going to have to assert himself to retain his dominance. He is not nearly as aggressive as the old Long Water male, the former mate of the present female.

Toxic blue-green algae encrust the edge of the Serpentine for hundreds of yards.

I pointed this out to the staff at the Lido. They said that they had had the water tested and were waiting for the results tomorrow before deciding to shut down the swimming. Only an 'expert's' word will convince them of something that is howlingly obvious.


  1. The parenting life of birds seems very relative to our reality of raising young.

  2. We're reaching a state where everybody will need to consult the opinion of the 'experts' on the sun rising in the east. Or to quote Chesterton, "Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer".
    I am confident that we'll have a very good view of the stripy heads tomorrow. The picture alone tantalizingly offers us a precious glimpse.

    1. People will lose their jobs, have their bank accounts closed, and face a torrent of media hatred for opposing the official view that leaves are pink.