Saturday 8 July 2023

Little Owl in the rain

The male Little Owl at the Round Pond came out of the nest hole in the dead tree.

It started raining and you would have expected him to go back in, but instead he flew to the small lime tree and sheltered in the leaves.

Both owlets were calling from the chestnut tree on the east side. I could only photograph the smaller one peering round a branch.

This picture of the larger one was taken yesterday by Zhou Zichen.

When the rain stopped the male owl at the Serpentine Gallery also came out.

While I was sheltering under a lime tree it was invaded by a family of Chaffinches, with the parents feeding the fledglings. They were dashing around nonstop and it was hard to get a decent picture. Here is one of the young ones ...

... and the male bringing an insect.

They flew on to the ground for a moment to drink from a puddle.

A Chiffchaff flitted around in a chestnut tree by the leaf yard.

A Song Thrush beside the Long Water was worried by there being a Carrion Crow in the top of the tree, and uttered the 'seep' warning call shared by all small birds that means 'danger overhead'.

A lovely picture by Virginia of a Magpie feeding a fledgling on the fallen trunk of the Little Owls' tree at the Round Pond.

A Great Crested Grebe sat on the nest on the far side of the water, surrounded by Common Blue Damselflies, while its mate went off fishing. The eggs should be hatching soon and I'm keeping a careful eye on the nest.

The seven Coot chicks in the Italian Garden enjoyed diving under the splash of the fountain.

The chicks at the bridge are now almost the same size as the younger ones have caught up with their elders.

A Moorhen inspected a piece of watermelon. It took an experimental peck, didn't like it, and trotted off.

The Mandarin and her duckling were back on the north shore of the Serpentine near the bridge. The duckling is now quite big and has a good chance of survival.

A Comma butterfly landed on a leaf. It wouldn't get into a position for a conventional picture, so here is a view of its strangely shaped face.


  1. I really have to go visit the owl chicks. I have not seen them since they left the nest so I have to let them get used to me photographing me every now and again so that they will be calmer around me, like the current Round Pond male.

    1. Yes, that does help. Little Owl chicks seem to be instinctively nervous -- unlike Tawny Owl chicks, which I have found to be pretty clueless about what's going on.

  2. Being surrounded by Chaffinches under that lime tree must have been heavenly.
    I wonder that the Moorhen didn't like watermelon. It tastes so sweet and light it's weird it didn't find it appealing.

    1. Birds on the whole don't like watery things, even if they're sweet. They want lots of fat and calories.