Monday, 20 March 2017

The Little Owl in the chestnut tree near the leaf yard came out of his hole.

That was the only owl I saw. The oak tree near the Albert Memorial again had two Mallards on it, with the drake peering insolently through the hole in the top of the branch.

Clearly they want to nest here, but can they get in? With their webbed feet hey couldn't land on the edge of the hole in the front of the branch, and the crack in the top may not be large enough to let them in. And would a duck be a match for an owl, however small, with sharp claws and a justified grievance?

The owls in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture are also troubled by having a Carrion Crows' nest in the top of the tree. Both pairs may need to find new places to nest. This is annoying not just for the owls but for me, because I hope to make a video about the owls when they have started nesting, and they may not be so well placed in new holes. At least when the owlets emerge you can hear them calling, which makes families fairly easy to find.

Mandarins nest in trees as a matter of course, and have proper claws on their webbed feet which allow them to perch securely. This pair were looking at the willow tree near the bridge.

Blondie the Egyptian Goose had taken her family to feed on the grass beside the Serpentine, but led them quickly to the water as a dog approached.

There was a moment of alarm this morning when Paul saw a crow near the Round Pond carrying something that might have been an Egyptian gosling, but in fact the four were all present when I checked later.

Luckily there were no dogs around at the time, because a pair of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls were waiting on the edge of the pond with hungry expressions, while others circled overhead.

There are two Great Crested Grebes on the Round Pond again. There's no chance of nesting here, but plenty of fish.

The one and only Grey Wagtail in the park perched on a post next to the bridge.

There were at least a dozen Pied Wagtails at the bottom of the Parade Ground.

A pair of Long-Tailed Tits were in the bushes north of the Henry Moore. They are usually here, and must be nesting nearby.

This Robin near Peter Pan is a regular customer, and appears when I come along the path.

Two Jays flew down to a tree near the Queen's Temple, expecting peanuts.

A Wood Pigeon was eating young leaves at the southwest corner of the bridge.

There is a patch of primroses here, as far as I know the only proper wild primroses in the park -- all the rest are the cultivated polyanthus type. They were planted by the old Australian gardener who also made the nest boxes for tits. He retired years ago, but his primroses come up every year, followed by cowslips which he also planted.

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