Wednesday 25 April 2012

There was a pair of Willow Warblers, one of them singing, on a fence behind the Lido. I got a distant and not very good picture of one of them before they flew off. At least I think they were Willow Warblers: the song was right but this bird has slightly mottled sides. David Lindo, who runs the Urban Birder blog, was in the park today and also heard one singing, which is reassuring.

The male Tawny Owl was in one of his usual spots, but I couldn't find any of the others. The male is relatively easy to see because he is a creature of habit, and you just make a tour of his favourite places until you find him.

There were several male Blue Tits bringing food to prospective mates in an effort to show what reliable providers they would be.

The two young Grey Herons were standing in their nest on the Serpentine Island, flapping vigorously to exercise their newly developed wings. They are still not actually trying to fly. Another Grey Heron was gathering twigs for the nest on the east end of the island.

I also saw a first-year Lesser Black-Backed Gull carrying a large twig; when it dropped the twig it came back and fetched it again. It seems unlikely that it was thinking of nesting in the park. The familiar Lesser Black-Back that kills and eats pigeons was having a go at some from its usual perch on the Lido restaurant. It was not successful this time, but it often is. The preferred technique is to drop on them from above, seize them by the scruff of the neck and bring them down to the lake to drown them; I have seen this twice but never managed to catch the moment in a photograph. Here it is devouring a pigeon which it has carried onshore for easier eating.

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