Sunday 24 September 2023

Owls in hiding

A pair of Jackdaws wandered along the gravel bank in the Round Pond, looking for insects on the bird droppings.

It was slightly chilly in the morning and again the female Little Owl didn't feel like coming out of her hole. Females seem to be more sedentary than males, even outside the nesting season.

The male owl at the Serpentine Gallery was perched in the middle of a bunch of leaves, and all I could see was one eye looking at me suspiciously ...

... but when I went past the tree again on my way home he had emerged.

The Blue Tit in the Flower Walk with a damaged foot stared out of a bush. It does have the remains of two toes on that foot, and was able to fly out and perch on my hand to collect a pine nut.

A Wood Pigeon eating hawthorn berries reached down too far. This is the moment it lost its grip and fell out of the tree.

The old Grey Heron from the Henry Moore sculpture was down on the Long Water fishing, I don't know how successfully. He had a mighty flap ...

... before flying up to the grassy mound where the paths divide to go over and under the bridge, a good spot for begging food off passing visitors.

One of the Great Crested Grebe chicks from the nest at the bridge picked a feather out of the water.

Their mother caught a fish and ate it herself. They need to keep themselves going during the incessant fishing for the chicks.

Three of the four from the middle of the Long Water were pestering their father. The fourth was visible out on the lake. All the ten grebe chicks on the lake that emerged initially are still alive, a remarkable record compared with the unfortunate ducks. It shows what good parents they are.

This is the youngest of them, the single chick from the second nest on the island.

A Cormorant at the Serpentine island splashed its way past a line of others perched on posts.

The female Mute Swan of the conquering pair was with the family at the Vista, being pointlessly nasty to some harmless Tufted Ducks.

There was enough of a breeze on the Serpentine to tempt a swan into the air.

There are still only two Shovellers on the Long Water, I think, a female and a drake just coming out of eclipse. Virginia got an excellent picture of him washing.

In the Rose Garden a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee going round a stonecrop flower head met a Common Carder coming the other way.


  1. Grebe chicks are the loveliest, but they do look exhausting, almost as much as young gulls. Compared to them, rearing cygnets looks like a walk in the park. Just teach them to look suitably adorable to tout for food and sufficiently vicious to bully others out of the way and you're done.

    1. Yes, and the parents have to feed the chicks non-stop for three months. I think there is a slight pause during the night, but I was going past the lake at 10pm last night and I heard a grebe chick begging.