Saturday 2 September 2023

Searching for the new Little Owl

The Little Owl that I heard calling yesterday from a tree at the edge of the Vista was calling again. But again I couldn't see it, though Belinda and I examined the tree carefully. A Stock Dove perched on a twig at the top, showing that the tree has at least one usable hole in it -- probably several, as the tree is old and broken. It's a horse chestnut a few yards southeast of the Round Pond nest tree, with a lot of bits of sawn-off branch on the ground below.

One thing is now clear: the owl here is not the male in the trees nearer the Round Pond, who was visible near the top of his usual horse chestnut.

Maybe the new owl is one of his two offspring from this year. The call definitely sounded male.

At the Serpentine Gallery the female was visible through the leaves of the lime tree.

A Blue Tit climbed acrobatically around the twigs at the top of a tree on Buck Hill.

Ahmet Amerikali found the Goldcrest in the Rose Garden shrubbery, which has appeared on this blog a few times recently.

He also got good shots of two Reed Warblers at the Italian Garden, one on the east side of the Long Water ...

... and the other on the west side.

A Wood Pigeon hung sideways in an elder tree by the Triangle car park.

More Cormorants are arriving on the lake daily as this year's young fish have grown to a size large enough to interest them. Here are four on the fallen poplar in the Long Water.

Another one shone in the sunlight on a post at Peter Pan.

A Great Crested Grebe chick resting on the nest at the bridge ...

... felt left out and went under the bridge to join the family on the Serpentine.

The four chicks farther up the Long Water were by the gravel strip.

The two from the Serpentine island were being fed. There are lots of fish and all the ten chicks seem to be thriving.

Lastly, the single chick from the east end of the island could be seen next to the wire baskets.

A Common Darter dragonfly perched on a dead leaf in the Rose Garden.

There was another sight of the very yellow Large White butterfly. It always folds its wings immediately on landing, so I haven't got a picture of its primrose yellow upper side.

Two Red Admiral butterflies climbed on a tree trunk in the shrubbery. I wondered what the attraction was, and then saw one of them going to the bottom of the trunk to drink from a tiny pool of rainwater.


  1. Predictably I'm excited at the appearance of another little owl, even though I have no chance of finding it on my own. Tree climbing butterflies - unusual, good spot

    1. I still haven't managed to see that second owl at the Round Pond. That tree has dense leaves and a lot of holes, which is good for the owl but not for the photographer.

    2. I'm not sure that's a lot of comfort... I'm sure you'll find him soon

  2. How can one tell whether it's male of female by the call? I swear to God, you should write a handbook on the proper care and management of Little Owls!

    1. The call of the male is more even in pitch. the female call swoops down then up, 'gooek, gooek.'