Saturday 17 November 2012

A pair of Egyptian Geese are constantly at the foot of the Henry Moore arch on the Vista.

It is not that they have a taste for sculpture: it is their territory, and humans will keep coming and dumping sculpture on them. The previous work here, Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror, confused them.

They kept seeing their own reflections, and thought that these were another pair of geese somehow suspended in the air above them. They often staged a display to frighten them off, but of course the reflection gave as good as it got, and it was an unwinnable campaign. Eventually they gave up and ignored it.

This is one of the first pairs of Egyptian Geese, possibly the very first pair, to come to Kensington Gardens. The female's lack of a brown eye patch makes them distinctive. They are prolific breeders and hopeless parents. They have several broods a year and promptly lose them all, every time. Contrast the pair on the Serpentine who had eight young this year, all of whom survived and are still to be seen on the lake.

The Tawny Owls were in their beech tree, facing the wrong way for a photograph, so here is a picture of two owls' backsides. At least you can admire their finely marked brown plumage.

I went back to the tree a couple of hours later to see if they had turned round, but they hadn't stirred a feather.

Meanwhile on the Long Water, a Cormorant felt that it needed a little lie down.

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