Monday, 31 March 2014

One of the original pair of Little Owls appeared briefly several times in their usual chestnut tree. It was probaby the female, since she went into her hole as soon as she realised she was being observed. Here she is blinking with her oddly human-shaped eyelids, which gave me a chance to press the shutter button before she vanished.

There was no sign of the Tawny Owls, or of the other pair of Little Owls. This morning I saw a Stock Dove carrying a twig into the hole in the oak tree where the new Little Owls were seen recently. However, Stock Doves have been hanging around this place for some time, during which the owls have often been seen in the hole, so it isn't clear who is going to end up owning this excellent nest site.

The reed raft on the Serpentine has now had a new piece added to double its width, and is almost the size of a singles tennis court. Its wire fence, broken by the Mute Swans, has been mended, and today several swans were probing the defences. They will probably get in eventually.

The Egyptian Geese can fly in and out, and were roaming around the space honking at each other, along with some Coots and Moorhens. Here beside the raft are some newcomers: two very pale Egyptians.

They didn't seem to be mates, as one of them was carrying on with a normal coloured bird. I think they are both female, since all the blondes in the park have been female, and also because they are rather small. They are probably sisters.

A little farther along the raft, two Tufted Ducks were mating.

They haven't managed to breed in the park for at least a decade, and when they do nest they tend to do so later than the other ducks, so I think the male was just messing about.

As an example of swans' ability to break through barriers, this pair has ripped open a join in the netting of the reed bed near the Diana fountain and are building a nest.

At the top of the Long Water near the Italian Garden, a Coot was doing its best to annoy the sitting female swan by walking around closer and closer to her. She is used to these impudent birds now, and took no notice.

A Green Woodpecker was laughing loudly from the top of a tall lime tree near the Serpentine Gallery.

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