Monday, 21 September 2015

A dull wet day keeps people out of the park, and you often get a chance to see birds in a more relaxed mood. This Dunnock was hopping about on a path near the Orangery, rather than hiding under a bush as it would have if there were people on the path. It had found what looks like a small insect larva.

A few feet away a Robin had come out on to a bench and was, well, singing in the rain.

The fearless female Pied Wagtail was patrolling the edge of the Serpentine. She took off to catch a passing insect.

There were a dozen House Martins over the Serpentine, evidently pausing during their migration. The insects they were chasing were high up and so were they, so I didn't get any pictures.

On the path along the east side of the Long Water a raptor rushed low over my head so fast that I could hardly get a glance at it, but I think it was the Hobby, still waiting before setting off south.

The emptiness of the park also made it possible to see that all three young Moorhens in the Italian Garden have survived, as well as the two at Peter Pan. Here are the two playing with dead leaves.

Some Greylag Geese flew from the Parade Ground and came down on the Serpentine.

Both sets of Great Crested Grebe chicks on the Long Water were noisily chasing their parents.

It has been a good year for them. There have been three broods of three chicks all of which have survived so far. Only the pair who nested near the bridge have lost their two chicks.

Great Crested Grebes often fish among other birds. The fish are not alarmed when they look up and see harmless Greylags, Mallards and Black-Headed Gulls, and don't notice that a lethal predator is heading for them.

The male Little Owl was sitting out in the drizzle on his usual branch. He went inside when it started to rain harder.

There were some Yellow Fieldcap mushrooms in the wet grass near the Round Pond. Their Latin name is Bolbitius titubans. The second word means 'tottering', evidently because their stems are so frail that a light touch will knock them over.


  1. Found your blog yesterday and after a thorough read, went to the park today and saw many things but sadly the Little Owls were not among them. Pretty sure I found the nest trees thanks to a photo you posted on the 04th, but was wondering if there's a particular time of day/weather that gives the best chance of seeing them?

    Many thanks.

    1. In the recent sunny weather they have been out all day. They dislike rain but sometimes stay out in it, and they hate strong wind that rocks their branch and ruffles their feathers. In bad weather you might be more likely to see them shortly after dawn or before sunset, near the times when they come out anyway to hunt. They are very small and bark-coloured and easy to miss if you don't know exactly where to look. Photographs exaggerate their visibility.