Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The female Tawny Owl was visible again today, in the same lime tree as she was discovered in two days ago. She enjoyed a good scratch and went back to sleep.

The three owlets were in the same tree in a cosy row, but unfortunately there were leaves in front of their faces. One looked down at us through a gap.

The male Little Owl was in his usual chestnut tree, but not very visible. Later he flew to the tall lime tree next to it and sat on his usual branch. This is one the north side of the trunk, and can be seen from near the nest tree.

Paul Turner had heard the Hobby this morning, though not seen it. So when a raptor came sailing high over the Italian Garden we hoped it would be the first sighting this year. However, the blunt-tipped wings just have to belong to a Sparrowhawk -- which is a very fine bird, but not as unexpected in the inner city.

Two young Herring Gulls were also circling, one trying to steal the other's crayfish.

Sadly, one of the two Great Crested Grebes that owned the wire basket at the south end of the bridge has died. It poked its head too far in and got stuck under a wire. It was a freak accident and I don't think the wire mesh is intrinsically dangerous.

There are five new cygnets on the Serpentine. I think the mother Mute Swan must have nested on the island in a place where she couldn't be seen from the shore.

There were three broods of Mandarins, of four, three and one. I say 'were' because the mother of the one foolishly swam up the row of posts opposite Peter Pan, each of which was topped with a Herring Gull, and was inevitably seized. But if ducks were better at motherhood we would be knee deep in them.

A Coot was bringing a wet wipe to his mate on the nest on the post by the shore. This was tastefully ornamented with leaves, but now the packet has pride of place at the top.

A Greenfinch was singing on the west side of the Long Water.

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