Friday, 21 November 2014

It was a dark grey drizzly day, but the male Little Owl was out on his usual branch.

And the female Tawny Owl was on the beech tree. Again, by approaching the tree from an unexpected direction, I was able not to bring any Jays or Magpies with me, and she could doze undisturbed.

There was nothing unusual on the Long Water, or on the Serpentine except for a Herring Gull eating the remains of a pigeon, but I am pretty sure that this was just the leavings of one of the killed Lesser Black-Backed Gulls.

The remaining pictures were taken at the Round Pond.

There are at least 20 Common Gulls, which tend to prefer the Round Pond to the main lake.

Mixed with the crowd of four species of gull there were five Jackdaws, the most I have seen together in the park. Maybe my estimate that the total number in the park is six is too low.

I threw them some bits of biscuit, which they grabbed with great speed from under the noses of the gulls. They quickly realised that I was feeding them rather than just throwing food around, and became quite fearless, coming right up to my feet.

Two Pied Wagtails were sprinting along the edge of the pond.

They now seem to have adjusted to the fact that the rebuilding of the kerb has removed the little strip of concrete immediately next to the water, and are finding plenty of insects on the grass or the pavement, which is messy with goose droppings.

The water at the edge may be too deep for wagtails, but it is just right for bathing Starlings, which were having a fine time splashing about.

Two Shoveller drakes were circling on the water.

It has been a disappointing year for Shovellers. At present I can only find four on the Long Water, plus these two.

A casual visitor to the Round Pond would wonder what this amorphous fluffy object is. It is, of course, all eight young Egyptian Geese, huddled together to keep warm.

One of the gardeners reported seeing a Meadow Pipit in the rough grass at the southeast corner of Kensington Palace. This is going to be a wildflower meadow next spring, which would be a very agreeable habitat for this bird if it decided to stay. I shall keep my eye on this place.

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