Wednesday 17 April 2013

All four Tawny owlets were in their usual place, moving around restlessly and occasionally appearing at the front of the tree.

A small corner of a sleeping adult was also visible a few feet away, but not enought to tell which one it was. I haven't seen the male for several days, but I am sure he is in there somewhere.

The Little Owl was out early but retreated into his tree, despite the warm sunshine which should have brought him out. Probably there were too many people in the park for his liking.

More Willow Warblers seem to be appearing on the Long Water, though these unobtrusive little birds may have been here for a while and have only come to notice when they started singing. There was some excitement last year when one turned up; now we have nine. Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were also singing, and the Song Thrush behind Peter Pan, who had fallen silent during the cold spell, has started up again.

The pair of Egyptian Geese near Bluebird Boats still have their four young, and are keeping them very close, which is the right thing to do especially when Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-Backed Gulls are circling hungrily overhead.

They were, of course, being fed by everyone who passed with food. A pair of Red-Crested Pochards, which had just chased off a mallard, came to try to take the Egyptians' food and got chased off in its turn.

But no creature on the lake is as violent as the Mute Swans, which were charging each other all over the Serpentine.

A pair were investigating the place in the bushes on the Serpentine island where the dominant pair of swans always nests. But neither they nor any others have claimed the place yet. The swans that nested in the Lido reed bed last year seem to have given up a promising site in the reeds, and have settled down on the open shore of the lake between the two sections of the reed bad. I would say that the site is much too exposed, but perhaps swans know best.

The white patch above this Cormorant's leg shows that it is in breeding plumage.

It may not look like much to us, but any sign will do as long as another Cormorant can understand it.

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