Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Starlings are again nesting in the plane trees near the small boathouses. Here a parent arrives with food for a nestling.

There don't seem to be many young Starlings surviving from the earlier broods this year. Normally they would be highly visible at the Lido restaurant on a hot day with people eating outside. But in fact most of the Starlings here are adults. Perhaps this couple lost all their brood and feel the need to start again.

On the edge of the Serpentine, one of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gulls was vigorously ripping up its latest victim.

There birds can't hold things down with one foot to tear them up, unlike raptors, owls, crows and even finches and tits. So they have to resort to shaking and pecking. However they do it, it seems to work, and they have had no trouble with dismantling crayfish, a much tougher proposition.

Both adult Little Owls came out and sat side by side.

They looked very affectionate, though they may just have been eating each other's parasites. Their owlets remained stubbornly out of sight and earshot.

Not so the Tawny owlets, who were in the same tree as yesterday.

They were a bit quieter today and not moving around as much -- perhaps their parents were out of sight. This one seemed to be bored, and yawned several times.

A pair of Blue-Tailed Damselflies were mating near the bridge. The brown females are inconspicuous and easy to overlook.


  1. Very nice photo* of the two Little Owls (which is which?). I think mutual grooming/preening is an equivalent of affection, at least. Do Little Owls mate for life?
    * always enjoy your photos but don't wish to seem to gush too often...

    1. Yes, Little Owls do mate for life. Just looked this up in Heimo Mikkola's Owls of Europe. The female is on the right. She is bigger, and less white around the eyebrows.

  2. oh, and the yawning Tawny, particularly.