Sunday, 11 November 2012

A beautiful day. Here a Tufted Duck, in his full breeding plumage with brilliant white sides, half opens an eye as he dozes in the warm sunshine.

And the three speckled Canada-Greylag hybrids attend to their feathers near the Serpentine island.

This picture, hastily snatched in the last of the daylight yesterday, is the first shot of one of the park's Little Owls since they were frightened by children and became wary and hard to see in early summer. It flew out of a tree and perched for an instant on a twig before disappearing into the leaf yard. It was taken by Alan Clubb, a serious photographer with faster reactions than me.

When the leaves fall off it is possible to see some way into the leaf yard, and we hope for longer sightings of the Little Owls, either here or in the row of ancient sweet chestnut trees they often lurk in on the south side of the yard.

The Tawny Owls were in their beech tree again, but after they were harassed by Jays they shifted and only the male was visible, in his usual high perch masked by leaves.

Here is a brilliant shot of a Jay snatching a peanut off the railings, taken by Alan's 12-year-old son Daniel.

Anyone who has tried to photograph Jays taking food will know how difficult it is: they slam down on the fence, grab the nut faster than the eye can see, and kick off like an Olympic swimmer turning at the end of the pool before they vanish into a tree.


  1. Congratulations and many thanks to Alan and Daniel for their brilliant photos. Let me know (via Ralph?) when you are next coming to the Parks and I will prepare a little container of feed for the Little Birds for Dan.

    1. Thank you Elizabeth for your kind words , Dan is so excited that one of his photo's is on the blog he can't wait to go to school and show his teachers .
      After a fantastic day on Saturday Daniel and I returned home full of exciting stories and pictures for my wife and daughter , one would say maybe to exciting as we had to return to the park today with them both (not that me or Dan were complaining ) we came armed with food this time in little containers liked you showed us .
      Had a great afternoon my wife had a robin sit on her hand for ages just happily helping its self to the food for about 2 mins and Dan had a wren come and feed from his hand .
      I will be in the park this week (work permitting ) around lunch time so will look out for yourself and Ralph
      Hope to see you soon

    2. Wow, a wren. I never managed that. But I could see that Dan had a natural talent for this odd but very rewarding activity. Hope to see you in the park soon.

  2. Ralph he stood holding food out for about 30 mins or more, all the birds including the wren thought he was some kind of funky modern bird feeder
    I had to drag him away again

    1. Yes, that's the way to do it. You have to take yourself out of the proceedings, and then the birds stop worrying about you. What birds don't like is the typical birdwatcher act of crawling stealthily about with binoculars, full of anticipation -- they think you're hunting them, and they're right.