Saturday, 15 March 2014

One of the newly found Little Owls obligingly posed for the many photographers who had turned up to see it.

Later, when it was inside its hole, it retreated towards the far end of the branch, suggesting that the pair's nest was in a cosy cul-de-sac at the end of the hollow.

This is probably the male owl. The female has been dimly glimpsed behind it in the hole, with just a pair of yellow eyes visible in the gloom. The yellow eyes of this owl are not visible in the photograph, because he has lowered his big shaggy eyebrows to shade them from the sun.

The other Little Owls and the male Tawny Owl were not so obliging, and no one I spoke to had seen them at all today. On the other hand, a prolonged absence of the Tawny from his usual place might be a welcome sign that the owlets are out and the family have decamped to a day roost somewhere elese as yet unnoticed.

Otherwise it was business as usual on a sunny spring day. Pairs of Long-Tailed Tits were flying about looking for nest materials.

A partly completed nest has been reported, but the finder has wisely not said where it is, because a visible site is a vulnerable one.

The pair of pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gulls were waiting in their favourite spot on the roof of the Dell restaurant for a potential victim to pass underneath. This one flew past unmolested.

Catching a pigeon calls for perfect timing, as they fly fast and big gulls are not very quick from a standing start.

A Wood Pigeon was standing on a precariously small perch in the water near Peter Pan, as thy tend to when drinking.

It is not a good place, for if a passing duck should knock it over it will not be able to take off from the water, and will have to row itself with its wings to a place where it can climb out. I have seen Wood Pigeons doing this, very slowly and clumsily.

And it is easy to get knocked off a perch if there is a Coot fight nearby. Here one combatant launches itself full tilt at its opponent.

A Mallard was having a good flap to settle its wing feathers after preening them.

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