Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Nuthatches in the leaf yard are calling loudly. Two of them were coming down to take food from the top of the railings. They will now come within inches of you when you are putting some pine nuts down for them.

There are clouds of little gnat-like insects around the lake, and the Pied Wagtails are taking advantage of them. Here one is about to spring into flight to seize its prey.

I am no good at insects and don't know what they are. Unfortunately their wings move too quickly to come out in photographs taken at the fastest speed I could manage on a rather dim day, so all you can see is a stick-like body.

One of the Green Woodpeckers at the bottom of the Parade Ground was posing elegantly on a young tree.

The number of Tufted Ducks on the lake seems to be going up. I counted 84 of them when I did my monthly count on Tuesday. Here a female one turns upside down to preen her belly.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual place, being mobbed by Jays and not taking much notice of them.

It is now quite difficult to get a clear view of him through the young leaves, and when eventually we find the owlets it will be hard to take pictures of them.

The first section of floating reed bed was being towed into place.

They will be put on either side of the Serpentine outflow, on the south side extending the existing reeds, and on the north side running along the edge of the terrace of the Dell restaurant. They should get a fair amount of bird life in a very viewable position. It will no longer be possible to see the concrete edge of the lake which is often used by the local pair of Grey Wagtails, but these also stand on the other side of the path, at the top of the Dell waterfall above their nest side under the bridge.

Presumably the roots of the reeds will eventually grow through the foam plastic that the rafts are made of, and they will perform a useful service in taking nitrates and phosphates out of the water.

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