Wednesday 24 April 2013

The Tawny Owls are still in the Flower Walk, but have moved a few yards west, to a tall holm oak on the south side of the path. They are very hard to see and impossible to photograph. The Little Owl, as usual, was out early but had gone in by the time I arrived.

Passing the Serpentine island, I heard a bird song I didn't recognise coming from the bushes around the Ranger's Lodge. It was like a Reed Warbler's but not so frantic, quite leisurely and spaced out. I looked for the bird and didn't find it. When I got home, I checked the London Bird Club Wiki and there was a report of a Sedge Warbler, and listening to a recording of the song showed that this was what I had heard. They are uncommon visitors to the park.

There were plenty of singing Blackcaps, a more familiar kind of warbler, round the Long Water.

The Great Crested Grebes' nest under the willow tree near the Serpentine bridge can be seen by looking down from the bridge parapet.

When the leaves grow more it will be harder to see from here, but probably still possible, and there will always be a fairly good view from ground level on the path. It is always fascinating to watch grebe chicks growing up and being cared for by their devoted parents.

There are a lot of Pied Wagtails on the new turf that has just been laid on the Parade Ground. Whatever their prey is, it seems quite sedentary, as the birds are walking about rather than running and leaping into the air as they often do. This one was close to the fence and was disturbed by my arrival and flew into a tree.

Robins are going about in pairs.

These are two of the three robins that live close together in the sanctuary on the east side of the Long Water. The male was giving food to the female when I passed, a sign that he will look after her when she is on her nest. I have not yet managed to get a picture of this elusive moment -- you have to be very quick to anticipate it. The third robin doesn't seem to have found a mate, and I found it alone 50 yards away and consoled it with some pine nuts.

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