Monday, 6 June 2016

The Little Owl family were all visible in the chestnut trees near the leaf yard. The owlets were climbing around the branches of the nest tree, which they have still not left.

One of them held its head in an odd sideways position for several minutes. Possibly it was sunbathing.

Their father was in the same tree, on his favourite perch.

He was disturbed by two Jackdaws, which he chased out of the tree and returned to the same place.

Their mother was in the next tree, perhaps feeling that she had done her work and it was time for her mate to look after the owlets.

There was a family of Long-Tailed Tits in a tree on the west side of the Long Water. The one on the right is a young bird waiting to be fed. The anticipation causes its eyelids, which are usually yellow, to flush red.

Swifts were flying low over the Round Pond. This one has an odd square-chinned look. Is this because its crop is full of insects, or has it folded its neck back into its body?

A Carrion Crow beside the Serpentine was finishing off a pigeon killed by the notorious Lesser Black-Backed Gull.

The young Grey Heron was in the nest on the island, stretching its wings.

The Great Crested Grebes from the nest at the east end of the island were feeding their chick with a fish which it had some difficulty in swallowing, though it managed after several tries.

A pair of Coots near the Italian Garden were feeding their young beside the ornamental rocks.

I think this is the pair that bred here earlier, but lost all their chicks.

There is a new Moorhen nest in one of the Italian Garden ponds. It is still under construction.

Squeaky cries coming from the weir at the east end of the Serpentine revealed that there is a Moorhen nest inside, at the bottom of the weir. Here a parent is looking over the edge.

The young will have no difficulty in climbing out. Even before the helpful plank was put in, earlier broods were perfectly able to leave when they wanted. The plank was added to help Coots, which are not so agile.


  1. I didn't know about the red eyelid thing. I never fail to learn something new from your blog every day.

    This is I suppose as appropriate a moment as any other to begin chanting: "we want a youtube channel, we want a youtube channel".

    1. All right, will do. But I have to learn how to work it.

  2. Do you know whether the young of any other bird species react in a similar way to young Long-Tailed Tits, when anticipating being fed? The red eye reaction is fascinating!

    1. I've never heard about any other bird having this reaction. I first read about it in an account of someone hand-raising a lost baby Long-Tailed Tit but, when you know, it's easy to observe in wild birds.