Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A pair of Egyptian Geese at the Serpentine island have eight young.

It is quite a good place, as there is reasonable cover to protect them from the ravenous gulls. Looking over the bridge  on to the Long Water I also saw a Mallard with two ducklings, no doubt the survivors of a much larger brood, but by the time I got round to the edge of the lake to photograph them both ducklings had been seized. There are lots of young Herring Gulls on the Long Water and it will be remarkable if any ducklings survive at all.

One of the Grey Wagtails in the Dell was whizzing around over the water catching insects in the air and taking them back to the nest under the little plank bridge. Getting a photograph of the small bird zigzagging about at high speed 50 yards away would tax the most skilled photographer with superb equipment and a whole day to spare, so you will have to be content with this bad picture, which at least shows that the bird was there.

A pair of Starlings were also nesting in the bushes to the west of the Diana fountain. Here is one of them in a flower bed trying to pick up two Mute Swan feathers at once and take them away to line their nest.

It did actually manage to fly away, somehow seeing where it was going.

A Robin in the Dell had pulled up an inconveniently large worm.

It eventually swallowed its victim, with some difficulty.

The gap under the concrete edge of the lake provides shelter for crayfish. The Great Crested Grebes know this, and hunt along the shore.

They are so intent on their task that they take no notice of people on the shore, and you can get within a couple of feet of them.

The male Tawny Owl was in the same place as yesterday, high up in the horse chestnut tree.

We all earnestly hope that he will find a new mate.

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