Sunday, 30 June 2013

Both Tawny and Little Owls showed up again today. One of the young Tawnies was in the horse chestnut tree next to the nest tree, and this one was in the adjacent beech tree.

The Little Owl was in his usual place, not doing anything but enjoying a warm day.

The leaf yard is resounding with the cries of young Great Tits begging to be fed. Here one of them chases his mother up a branch. The young bird has a simplified version of adult plumage, with a black stripe on its breast that has not yet differentiated into the broad stripe of the male or the narrow zigzag of the female.

It would be easy to say that the young one looked hopeful and the mother looked a bit peeved by her offspring's constant demands. But it would be quite wrong, and one should not try to read human emotions into birds.

There were also three young Chaffinches at the back of the bushes, being fed by both parents. Usually when the male of a species has more elegant plumage than the female, it is a sign that he doesn't attend to the upbringing of his brood. But here the male, resplendent in puce, iridescent grey, black and white, was working hard to collect food from us and take it back to the family.

The pair of Nuthatches were doing the same. If you put whole peanuts into a crack in a tree, they come down and prise them out and carry them away to their young. These birds have lost much of their normal fear of humans, but no one has managed to hand-feed them yet.

The Blackcap family were making a noise in the bushes on the other side of the Long Water, and there were two Reed Warblers singing.

The pair of Egyptian Geese who live on the edge of the Round Pond have hatched six young, and the family were feeding on algae on the east side of the lake. They guard their young quite well, with the mother keeping them close and the father constantly on the lookout. There were no gulls in sight when I saw the family this afternoon; they are all on the Serpentine, rushing in as soon as people start feeding the waterfowl.

1 comment:

  1. We saw a jay constantly flying back and forth to the tree where you'd put the nuts. Now we know why!