Sunday, 26 July 2015

On a cold dark grey drizzly day it was a surprise to find both the male Little Owl, out on his favourite branch ...

and one of the owlets, though this was sensibly sheltering in dense leaves in the maple tree.

The young Jay who hangs around this area now realises that peanuts are available, and perches on a branch in front of me with an appealing look.

Uncollected rubbish bags soon attract Magpies and Carrion Crows, which rip holes in them to extract food. This is a young Magpie whose tail still has to grow to its full length.

A Song Thrush on a branch near the bridge looked at me warily.

There was a single Pied Wagtail sprinting around on the grass between Kensington Palace and the Round Pond.

The five new Coot chicks in the Italian Garden pond were being busily fed by both parents.

There was also a Moorhen family with four chicks on the same pond. The two families sensibly kept one of the clumps of plants between them to avoid conflict, though occasionally one of the parents would look round the corner to make sure the others were not creeping up on them.

Another pair of Moorhens with four chicks were feeding near Peter Pan when a Grey Heron started stalking towards them. The chicks were hastily herded into a bush and one of the adult Moorhens stood guard, chipping angrily. The heron, finding its intentions foiled, picked up a swan's feather and gnashed at it. A psychologist would call this a displacement activity.

Two Great Crested Grebes, not a pair, were fishing along the edge of the Serpentine. They accidentally met each other under water, and suddenly broke surface in an explosion of spray and one chased the other into the distance.

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