Sunday, 13 April 2014

A Little Owl looked out from its hole in the chestnut tree for a moment before hastily retreating. They are really very unapproachable now, and the male owl seems to have become almost as nervous as his mate.

There was no sign of a Tawny Owl, though I went all round the local horse chestnut trees with binoculars.

The young Great Black-Backed Gull was on the Long Water near Peter Pan. It showed hostility to the Lesser Black-Backed and Herring Gulls, barging them out of the way as it moved about.

After I took this picture it flew off to the Serpentine. When I next came past the Long Water it was covered with young Herring Gulls, most of which usually stay on the Serpentine. I wondered whether the Greater Black-Back had attacked them.

There were four Mandarin drakes on the Long Water and one on the Round Pond, but only two females were visible. They may have started nesting. This is the female on the Round Pond, browsing with her mate on the gravel shore exposed by the engineering works, both of them evidently finding things to eat.

Also on the Round Pond, a pair of Coots had somehow managed to attach a nest to a small piece of projecting debris some distance out from the shore. They are very skilled at building nests in awkward places.

The Grey Heron at the Italian Garden is well aware that one of the ponds contains perch and carp of just the right size for a good meal. The problems from a heron's point of view are that the stone edge of the pond is too high for a fishing station, and that the fish hang around the clumps plants in the middle of the pond, too far out to reach from the edge. So here it is precariously balancing on the wire netting around one of the clumps.

There are plenty of St George's mushrooms in Kensington Gardens. These were found by Mario, who has advised me on fungi several times.

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