Wednesday 23 October 2013

Both Tawny Owls turned up again today, the first time they have been seen for months. They were in a lime tree a few yards to the south of their nest tree. When they were first seen they were sitting side by side, and Paul Turner got this good photograph of them.

They were being harassed by Jays, and had moved apart by the time I arrived. Pairs of Tawny Owls tend to sit near each other in autumn, as the breeding season approaches. They start nesting in December; since their main prey is mice, which abound in the park, they are not worried by food shortages in winter.

The male Little Owl also appeared in his usual tree, in a place where he could only be seen from directly below. While I thrashed around in the brambles under the tree, he regarded me with mild curiosity.

The wire baskets of twigs under the bridge are being visited by medium-sized perch, which are feeding on smaller fish inside the baskets. The Great Crested Grebes know about this, of course, and are taking the perch to their young, which are now large enough to deal with them; or, of course, eating them themselves.

Other birds know about grebes' skill in finding where the fish are -- not just the ever-watchful gulls trying to snatch the fish, but also fishing birds such as Cormorants or Common Terns, which see grebes fishing and follow them around.

Several large flocks of Long-Tailed Tits, mixed with other small insect-eating birds, were ranging around the park.

The number of Ring-Necked Parakeets is rising inexorably. Paul saw 150 of them around the clump of catalpa trees between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden. The birds extract the seeds from the pods of these trees.

A spell of sunshine brought out the lovely iridescent colours of a Starling waiting to raid a table at the Lido restaurant.

1 comment:

  1. Wow the Tawny Owl are back, fantastic! I'll be around the park later so if I get time I might have a look.
    Lovely colours in the starling by the way.