Sunday, 10 November 2013

Unplanned visit to Kensingon Gardens (again)

After yesterdays unpredictable weather, when I decided to stay home rather than be caught in one of the many heavy rain showers, today was bright and sunny and dry.
Initially I planned to spend the day at the London Wetland Centre, but after walking around with Gina for over an hour, it emerged there really wasn't a lot of bird life to see. The Bitterns were seen yesterday, but no sign of them this morning. A lone Little Grebe was on the lagoon.
However it was nice to bump into some old friends (Derik, John, Joe, Michael, Philip, Oscar, Martin etc) but in the end Gina, Bill and I decided to head to Kensington Gardens.
Spot the Heron
Common Gull
female Pochard
male Tufted Duck
We bumped into Ralph, and he showed us his famous friend, the ringed Black-headed Gull. As promised by Ralph, the gull appeared to recognise him immediately and flew towards him for food.
EY the ringed Black-headed Gull
We all looked for the Little Owls with no success, but we did find both of the Tawny Owls side by side. They were not being very obliging though, they were hunkered down and only their backs were visible. After saying good bye to Ralph, we went for a coffee, and then bade farewell to Bill too. Gina and I decided to try for the Tawnys one more time, and luckily one had moved so we could see its sleepy little face.
The only photo I could get of both the Tawny Owls, one at the top, the other partially obscured by leaves at the bottom.
Snoozing away
We checked the Little Owl tree again, but still no sign of the little lovelies, but a Ring-necked Parakeet flew in for a pose.
Cannot post a blog of Kensington Gardens without showing a photo of one of the many squirrels
It was mid afternoon by now, and only about an hour of daylight left, so Gina and I parted company and I started to make my way back to the station. By the Peter Pan statue, the low sun light looked great across the Serpentine so I grabbed a couple of shots of one of the juvenile Great Crested Grebe swimming across, closely followed by its parent.
I call this photo 'On Golden Pond'.......
and I call this one 'On Golden Pond - the sequel'
Up by the Italian Gardens, another Great Crested Grebe and its youngster were fishing quite close to the edge, so I passed away another half an hour watching them.

Not a bad day out, the weather was beautiful, if a little chilly, and I was disappointed in the lack of birds. At this time of year I would expect to see more winter Thrushes, plus smaller birds like Siskins or Redpolls. Well, there's always next weekend.
Finally, here is the link to Ralph Hancocks blog


  1. Was a really lovely day weatherwise... fingers crossed for next weekend :D

    and some great pics as usual.. glad you got your Tawneys!

  2. Splendid pictures as always. The top of the Henry Moore sculpture is beginning to show the effect of a heron almost permanently standing on it. I think it's the spirit of Barbara Hepworth saying that she should have had her statue there instead.