Saturday 24 August 2013

On a dismal rainy day, both Little Owls made an unexpected appearance. They were in the sweet chestnut tree where they made their nest (and we still have no idea of how successful their breeding attempt was, though the signs are not encouraging). This is the female: larger than the male, and very restless and nervous. She was skittering around the tree, and this is the only shot I got.

The male was much more relaxed, though in the bad light it was not possible to get much of a picture.

The two young Hobbies were parked in their usual plane trees between the Queen's Temple and Physical Energy, but were mostly masked by leaves.

And a Sparrowhawk passed by and briefly perched on top of a tree across the path from the leaf yard before continuing on its rounds. For the few seconds it was there, a group of Feral Pigeons, and another group of Ring-Necked Parakeets, sitting on adjoining trees, watched it without any sign of alarm. This is one of a pair quite often seen in Kensington Gardens. Only the female is big enough to take pigeons, but she does this regularly and you can often see sad little heaps of grey feathers on the edge of the leaf yard.

The rain had kept people out of the park, and the Moorhen family that live under the boat hire platform took the opportunity to explore the pedalos.

I don't think they found anything of interest; they are just curious birds. Moored pedalos in the middle of the lake are sometimes used by Pied Wagtails and Common Terns as a perch to rest on while hunting.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks from the island were mooching around idly by the boathouses, each with its right leg folded up and paddling with the left. For once they didn't seem to be hungry: their parents are feeding them very well and even a young bird gets full sometimes.

After a while they went to sleep side by side.

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