Thursday 11 April 2013

The Tawny Owls have reappeared, but in a place where they are even harder to see. Here is one of the adults in a yew tree on the south side of the Flower Walk about 30 yards west of the California bay tree. It could not be seen from either side, only from directly below, and then with difficulty.

Several owlets were also in this area.

Mandarins were dispersed all over the place and I saw five males and three females. This trio were walking through the early morning dew near the Queen's Temple.

Probably this is a sign that they will be nesting soon, which these peculiar ducks do in tree holes. Their webbed feet are adapted for perching on small branches, and have useful claws instead of the flat toenails of other ducks.

This female Blackbird was carrying nesting materials -- in this case some rotten old leaves, but they will do to bulk out the structure and help to hold it together.

The Egyptian Geese on the Round Pond still have their three young. When I went up there the little birds were sheltered under their mother's wings and completely invisible  but later one wandered out and tottered around cropping the grass until chivvied back into cover. These parents are very solicitous of their young, as they definitely need to be in this open place.

The Barnacle Goose was still at the Round Pond, to which it has transferred from the Serpentine. Certainly it will have a more peaceful time here. As the nesting season approcahes, the Mute Swans on the lake have been getting more and more aggressive, and I saw several attacking each other. The losers will be chased up to the Round Pond, where the low-status swans congregate.

On the Serpentine, a female Pochard was attending to her wing feathers.

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