Saturday 28 June 2014

The three Tawny owlets had arranged themselves artistically in a chestnut tree.

Here is a closer view of the topmost one of the three.

This tree is a few yards north of the parish boundary stone that you pass on your way from the leaf yard to the owls' nest tree.

When I passed the Little Owls' tree it was raining heavily and the male owl had gone inside. But when the rain stopped and there was a brief spell of sunshine, he emerged on to his usual branch.

This picture gives a good view of his right foot, with the owl's opposable fourth toe pointing backwards. It can be moved round to align with the two forward facing toes when the bird is on the ground, but when it is gripping a branch, or its prey, two toes point each way.

If this Moorhen looks dejected in a heavy shower, that is not because it is getting wet -- its feathers are admirably waterproof. But the water streaming over the pavement (which you can hardly distinguish from the lake behind) makes it impossible to forage for the small invertebrates and other minor things that are its food.

Surprisingly, the rain had not washed away either of the new Great Crested Grebe nests on the Long Water. But both had suffered because a lot of weed had washed out of them, and the birds were busily rebuilding them.

There is a new brood of two Greylag Geese on the Long Water.

Their nest in the bushes was completely invisible and had not been found by the park keepers, or by the equally fatal foxes.

There have not been many sightings of Pied Wagtails around the lake recently, so it was good to see one on the south side of the Serpentine. It took a break from running along the edge of the water to hunt for insects in the bark of a tree.

There was also a Grey Wagtail moving around in front of the reed bed where the Reed Warblers are nesting, but it was hidden by the flower bed in front of the reeds and I couldn't get a picture.

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