Saturday 15 July 2023

Windy day

On a very windy day I didn't expect to see any Little Owls, but was surprised to find three. At the Round Pond the male was looking out of the usual gap in the horse chestnut tree but had moved up and back to avoid being flailed by threshing leaves.

One of the owlets was in the back entrance of the nest tree, which is on the lee side when there's a southwest wind.

At the Serpentine Gallery the male owl was in a fairly sheltered spot just above the nest hole ...

... but was still getting ruffled.

A female Blackbird probed the carpet of dead leaves in the shrubbery near the bridge and found a worm.

The trees here are visited by Reed Warblers looking for insects to feed their young, one of which is shown here in the reed bed.

At least two pairs have also bred in Hyde Park, one in the Diana fountain reed bed and the other in the bed at the east end of the Serpentine, but it's practically impossible to see anything in either place.

The eldest of the young Starlings are now beginning to get their spotted adult plumage.

Young Wood Pigeons are out with their families. They have the white wing bars of an adult but not yet the white neck ring.

A Feral Pigeon beside the Serpentine had an odd mixture of the original grey Rock Dove colouring and white patches.

The Great Crested Grebe nest opposite Peter Pan has yet to hatch.

I looked back at my pictures and the earliest one I have of a bird here sitting steadily on eggs dates from 25 June, but I probably didn't catch it as soon as it began. The incubation period is 27 to 29 days, so expect developments soon.

The seven Coot chicks in the Italian Garden are now too large to fit on the nest together ...

... and two of them were out begging in vain from their parents, which are now expecting them to feed themselves.

A young Moorhen, still in the drab brown feathers of a teenager, preened on the edge of the Serpentine.

The single Mandarin duckling on the Serpentine with its mother enjoyed chasing away pigeons which were just minding their own business.

Canada x Greylag hybrid geese can be very various in appearance. This one has yellow feet, a colour not found in either parent.

The Egyptian in the background isn't Blondie. It has narrow dark barring on its grey tail feathers, and has been on the lake for several years.

A few bees were braving the wind. A patch of Black-Eyed Susan at the back of the Lido attracted several Honeybees.


  1. The Great Crested Grebes nest is making me anxious for the newly born!

  2. That ruffled Little Owl looks a bit uncomfortable. Isn't it a bit strange that they were all out today in all that wind?
    Crossing all fingers and toes for the success of that nest.

    1. Yes, it did seem strange. At least the owls at the very exposed Round Pond, on an open site on a low hill, are used to wind and have found good places to sit it out. I've seen the Serpentine Gallery male in that place in the rain, as the overhang gives shelter, but it does nothing to mitigate the wind.

  3. Lovely shot of the juvenile Reed Warbler.

    You did well with the Little Owls given the winds.

    1. It was the Little Owls that did well. Surprisingly tough.