Saturday, 29 June 2013

It was an interesting day for owls. I went to see the Little Owl and couldn't find him in his usual place. But then he suddenly flew out of the sweet chestnut tree and up into the tall lime tree next to it, and disappeared into the leaves. He has used this lime tree as a perch before, last year when the pair were nesting in the sweet chestnut on the other side of it.

As I approached the Tawny Owls' nest tree there was a flurry of wings and the male owl flew from the horse chestnut on the north side into the nest tree, where he started hooting frequently and continued for several minutes. It was not clear what had disturbed him, but one of the young owls was perched just about where he had flown from, as shown in this picture.

Perhaps the young one had annoyed its father by demanding food in the daytime. Tawny Owl parents like to keep some distance from their restless young so that they can get some sleep, and often sit in an adjacent tree.

This young Blue Tit in the leaf yard was demanding food too, and getting it.

The parent kept shuttling down to my hand to pick up pine nuts which promptly disappeared into the ravenous fledgeling.

There was a family of Long-Tailed Tits in a nearby bush. This young one quietened down for a short time and spread its feathers out to sunbathe on a twig.

There were two Grey Herons in the Italian Gardens again, staring intently into the pond where they had been yesterday. I put on my Polaroid glasses, which allow one to see better into the water, and walked round the pond looking for fish, but didn't see any. However, herons are better at finding fish than humans.

As I was looking over the parapet of the Italian Garden, a small brown bird darted out of a tree on the east side of the water and returned to the same place. I thought it was the Spotted Flycatcher which was seen here a couple of months ago. Then it crossed the lake, spent a short time in the reed bed and returned, and I saw that it was a female Blackcap. She was getting insects to feed to two fledgelings. Here is one of them.

The Coot nesting near Peter Pan still has only one chick, and as far as I could see there are still four unhatched eggs in the nest. A Herring Gull came too close and the male Coot chased it furiously away.


  1. Very nice pictures Ralph! Good to see the Tawny Owl are back again.