Wednesday, 26 March 2014

An early Swallow was passing over the Round Pond, an encouraging sign of the progress of spring on a cold wet day.

Three Coal Tits were visible in the Flower Walk, two of them singing at each other. This one is in a budding apple tree, but the main reason for the number of Coal Tits here is the many evergreen trees which give these tiny birds cover.

Paul Turner was lucky enough to see Little Owls both in the chestnut tree near the leaf yard and in the oak near the bicycle bath. Both looked out of their holes for a moment and then vanished inside. He also saw the male Tawny Owl in his usual place, but by the time I arrived he had gone inside, and a hailstorm deterred him from emerging by the time I went home.

The Mute Swans nesting near the Italian Garden now have two eggs -- possibly more, but two were visible, almost covered with reeds by their mother.

She had gone off to tout for food at the Peter Pan railings, leaving her mate to look after the nest. He seemed disgruntled, shuffling about and snorting.

The area at the bottom of the Parade Ground, where the grass was ruined by the German funfair, is now being restored, and the new grass should be ready just in time to be ruined again by a concert. The disturbance frightened off the Pied Wagtails, and five of them were at the Lido. Three were perched on the posts around the reed bed and constantly leaping into the air to catch passing insects. Two were standing on the blue plastic matting on the jetty of the bathing area.

A pair of Mandarins were sitting side by side on a post next to Peter Pan. Here they are, caught in a brief moment of sunshine.

The endlessly patient Grey Heron was standing over the grating under the marble fountain in the Italian Garden. This grating covers a semicircular enclosure which was originally part of the water system for the fountains. It is full of fish, and the herons know it. Victoria Grey, who was here earlier, took this fine picture of it catching a perch.

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