Tuesday, 1 April 2014

One of the original pair of Little Owls came out on to a branch of the usual chestnut tree to bask in the warm sunlight. Probably it was the male, as he didn't mind being stared at and photographed.

The male Tawny Owl was out in the morning and early afternoon, but went in later and had not reappeared when I passed the nest tree on my way home.

There is still no sign of owlets, but the fact that we have not seen her at all for some time suggests that she is still inside looking after them, and that their breeding is simply running late this year. It is still long before the time that Tawny owlets usually emerge in this country, but we have got used to these owls being very early.

Three pairs of Great Crested Grebes were disputing the ownership of one of the wire baskets of twigs near the bridge. There are still plenty of fish in this, and when the quarrel had subsided one of the winning pair caught a large perch.

Perch of a similar size have also been seen in the northwest pool in the Italian Gardens, where there have also been goldfish and mirror carp. I went to look but couldn't find them. Although it is clear that the goldfish were dumped by a human, the presence of the others in this closed water system is completely baffling.

The fallen horse chestnut tree beside the Long Water near the northwest corner of the bridge has become a popular haunt of creatures of all kinds. Today there was a Robin sunbathing ...

... a Dunnock preening itself ...

... and a Peacock butterfly.

The other side of the tree, invisible from the path, is also frequented by a fox, which can sometimes be seen from the bridge.

A Long-Tailed Tit in the Flower Walk had caught a tiny green aphid and paused for a moment on a twig before eating it and going to find another.

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