Monday, 24 March 2014

After a late appearance yesterday, the Tawny Owl was back on his balcony all day.

It is hard to tell what is going on with the family. I went and looked for owlets in all the usual places. They may simply be a bit late this year; normally they are way ahead of the usual nesting and breeding times for Tawny Owls, but no one is keeping them up to speed.

Lower in the same tree, a pair of Ring-Necked Parakeets were canoodling on a branch.

They are nesting in a hole on the south side of the tree about eight feet above ground level which in previous years has been used by Starlings. Parakeets do tend to push other birds out of nest holes, but there are so many trees with suitable holes in the park that it makes little difference.

These Mallards are planning to nest in the bushes on the east side of the Long Water near Rudolf Steiner's bench, where they have been for several days.

The drake is looking proud but watchful: this is fox country. But these ducks don't have anywhere to nest in complete safety. It is not surprising that Mandarins, which nest in holes in trees, have been increasing in number.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes near the Serpentine island were saluting each other with elaborate courtesy.

One of them had just been round the other side of the island for a few minutes, but grebes never miss an opportunity to celebrate.

A Greenfinch was perched on a variegated holly tree beside the Long Water, its plumage closely matching the leaves.

Under the marble fountain of the Italian Garden, a Grey Heron was getting on with the serious business of fishing.

This is one of the best fishing places on the lake, a fact well known to Grey Herons, Cormorants, and Great Crested and Little Grebes, all of which visit the area constantly.

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