Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The House Martins' nesting season is in full swing on the French and Kuwaiti embassies, and there is a constant relay of birds between their hunting grounds on the Serpentine and their hatchlings in the cornice. Here a pair attends a nest. You can see the muddy traces of its construction on the right corner of the square hole.


In parts of the park it looks as if it had been snowing, as the black poplars (Populus nigra) release huge quantities of fluff. This is the kind of tree that Americans call a 'cottonwood', and you can see why. Here a Moorhen is slightly alarmed as a rabbit charges past.


All four Moorhen chicks in the Italian Garden are still in good order, thanks to the shelter of the clumps of water plants. Here one of them scrambles through the wire mesh to be fed.


When they are too large to go through the holes in the wire mesh they will climb it easily with their huge feet. The adults literally run up the fence and drop off on the other side without bothering to open their wings.

The Tawny Owls had disappeared into the foliage again. One has to be very lucky to see them now. However, the male Little Owl was in sight, sunbathing in his new place right at the top of the usual sweet chestnut tree.

No sign of the Common Terns for the second day running; they may have gone for good. However, there was a Reed Warbler singing loudly from the small clump of reeds on the Long Water next to the bridge.

Here is a Wood Pigeon drinking.


Pigeons are unique among birds in their ability to suck up water. All other birds have to take a beakful and throw their head back to swallow it.

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