Tuesday 14 May 2024

Where will the Little Owls nest?

The female Little Owl at the Round Pond was calling from a horse chestnut tree, which made it possible to find her.

This is one of her usual trees right next to the dead tree where they have nested in previous years, but they are going to have a hard job nesting in the same place and will have to evict the Stock Doves presently occupying the hole. However, I haven't seen the squirrels that were breeding lower down in the tree for some time, and it's possible that they have left now that their family is grown up.

The Long-Tailed Tits in the Rose Garden were going out as a pair to find insects for their chicks in the nest. One of them paused for a moment on a twig.

They returned to the nest together and fed the chicks in close succession.

The Coal Tit at Mount Gate took seven pine nuts in five minutes, hiding them in cracks in bark for later consumption.

Swifts whizzed over the Round Pond.

A Carrion Crow was ruffled by the wind as it perched on an urn in the Italian Garden.

A Pied Wagtail stepped daintily through the slime on the edge of the Serpentine.

The young Grey Herons in the nest on the Serpentine island are getting very active and restless. They will be coming down soon ...

... when they have perfected the art of flying. They practise by making short hops between branches.

The Great Crested Grebe on the Long Water was carrying the chick beside the nest.

Some of the Coot chicks at Peter Pan were pulling up algae.

A Coot on the Round Pond was making a futile attempt to attach a large stick to a buoy.

The female Mute Swan on the Long Water has been sitting for 35 days, so the eggs should hatch any time soon.

The pair on the island would be well advised to get on with nesting while the murderous couple are busy on the Long Water.

A pair of Canada Geese looked after their five goslings on the shore nearby.

One the other side of the lake the youngest Greylag gosling was eating grass.

A Common Carder bee was browsing on an odd tall spike of little pink flowers in the Rose Garden. PlantNet tells me that it's called Fringecups, Tellima grandiflora, though it's hard to see what's big about the flowers.

A Honeybee gathered pollen in a ceanothus bush in the Rose Garden.


  1. Hi Ralph, great to see swifts flying around again..lots of goslings at the moment, it would seem...RE. those two goosanders I saw the other day, we will be waiting a VERY long time for ANY ducklings...they are both MALE !!..very nice looking birds as they are..though....regards,Stephen....

    1. I suppose Goosanders have the same skewed sex ratio as other ducks. This does actually seem to be caused by unequal numbers hatching, not just by females getting predated on the nest, which doesn't seem to have any evolutionary point.

    2. I think Goosander males mate with multiple females at the same time and have a territory to protect which is why there are fewer male Goosanders. This is the case in Italy at least...

  2. Hi Ralph,

    when you saw the greylag gosling, was he with his Canada or Greylag parents? The new Canada family managed to lose two goslings overnight but kept the greylag gosling.

  3. I don't think we mention it enough, but I personally learn so much about flora with the daily blog as well. Three quarters of the time I don't know what soft of flower or plant the pictures show, and there is always something to learn.

    1. Usually I don't know either and consult PlantNet.