It’s obviously been a bit snowy around good ol’ London Town this weekend, so Jem and I decided to stay indoors as much as possible. We had Meds’s gig at the Barfly to go to on Saturday night anyway, so though it would be best to just go for a quick bit of birding on Sunday afternoon and stay warm for the rest of the weekend.
Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park was the location again as I still want to show Jem the Tawny Owls, as well seeing the Little Owls too. The snowy weather isn’t great for owls,so we knew it was a long shot, but it was nice to get out to a big inner-city park in the snow for once.
Kensington Gardens brought us plenty of birds on the Round Pond, mostly Black-headed Gulls, a few Mute Swans, some Canada Geese, and a few dozen Starlings too. I’m not much good with Gull identification, but there appeared to be a few non-Black-headed Gulls around too, which I assume were Herring Gulls of varying ages. EDIT: Nope, I’ve just found out that they were Common Gulls.
Common and Black-headed Gulls
The area where the Tawny Owls hang out was devoid of any action at all – even the Parakeets were quieter than usual – so we wandered across to where the Little Owls are supposed to frequent. There were a couple of fat Woodpigeons, several Robins (two of which were happily eating mealworms out of some ladies’ hands), a few Blackbirds, a Jay, the obligatory Blue and Great Tits, plus a hungry Brown Rat and a few Grey Squirrels. No sign of any owls though.
After that we decided to have a quick look for the Bearded Tits again in Hyde Park. We encountered dozens of Tufted Ducks, a few Mallards, several Moorhen, and a nice pair of Shovelers on the way over. There were no other birders around so we assumed the Bearded Tits had hidden themselves away, but we were wrong. They were happily munching away in the long grasses, just as they had been last weekend. The light was fading fast though, making photography virtually impossible, so we took that as our cue to pack away and stomp through the snow back to High Street Kensington Station. I had a nice piece of barbecue-marinated pulled pork to put in the oven…