Friday 25 October 2013

An excellent day for owls. Both the Tawny Owls were on the same branch of the same lime tree as the day before yesterday, sitting a few feet apart so that it was impossible to get a good picture of the pair together. So here they are separately, first the female ...

... and then the male, who was sitting right against the trunk.

It should be easy enough to find the lime tree if you know where the owls' nest tree is.  It's a tall lime about 20 yards south of the nest tree, and the branch is about three-quarters of the way up and can be viewed from the east side of the tree.

The two Little Owls were also together in their usual chestnut tree. Again, their position didn't allow a good photograph of the pair, and this obscured view will have to do.

After a short time the female owl became nervous and bobbed from side to side in an agitated manner, then flew into the hole in the tree. The male stayed out and shifted into a place where he could see and be seen clearly.

It was the day for the monthly bird count, which brought no surprises -- I had been hoping for some picturesque autumn migrants, but even the common park residents weren't showing well. These Wood Pigeons were having a fight in the Dell, which in the past was a place for human duels.

One welcome revelation of the count was that all ten Great Crested Grebe chicks are still alive. The eldest ones at the Serpentine island are now three months old and almost independent, and are beginning to be pushed away, rather than fed, by their parents.

However, the younger brood of two on the Long Water are still being fed, and here is one of them taking a fish in the well stocked area next to the Italian Garden.

The young bird just managed to swallow it before it was attacked by a Black-Headed Gull and had to dive in a hurry.

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