Monday, 29 August 2016

On a sunny Bank Holiday Monday the park was thronged with people, and the most of birds were staying in the background. But the male Little Owl in the chestnut tree near the leaf yard was perched imperturbably on his usual branch in the morning ...

... and when I came back four hours later he was still there.

The two young Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine were fishing side by side again.

They seem too young to be taking care of themselves, but they were not calling for their parents, and were taking it in turns to dive.

On the Long Water, a parent of another family had caught a fish and was carrying it around looking for a chick to feed it to. For once, there were no chicks in sight.

After a couple of minutes the grebe ate the fish itself.

Even at a very early age, Moorhens feel the need to climb around on plants just for the fun of it.

The Mallard drakes are beginning to regrow their breeding plumage, and have just one thing on their minds.

The Red-Crested Pochards are still in full eclipse, but in any case they behave much more decorously.

An adult female Mandarin came near the shore at Peter Pan. She looks almost exactly like the familiar teenager, but her wings are longer.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits moved along the edge of the Long Water.

And a party of Mistle Thrushes visited the rowan trees in Buck Hill.

In the grass a few yards away there is a fair-sized round hole, and there is a wasps' nest in it. The origin of the hole is a mystery. It is a long way from the place where the rabbits assemble at the bottom of the hill.


  1. Perhaps after raising, and finally managing to get rid of, a handful of rowdy Little Owl teenagers of its own, the Little Owl will not see the need to be flustered by people now?

    1. The male Little Owl of this pair has always been calm when watched, even by quite a crowd. The female is nervous because, when she arrived in early 2012, some horrible children threw stones at her. She is fairly used to the regulars but other people scare her.

    2. Ralph, have you seen this video?

      It looks as if the Canada mother knew that some humans can help. If she did, wouldn't this be something like gulls' or crows' cultural transmission of knowledge?

    3. That is indeed remarkable. As you say, I think there must have been some previous experience that got across somehow.