Friday 6 March 2015

A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was heard by Des McKenzie, in the trees to the right of the Rima relief. It was both singing and drumming. This is a very rare visitor to the park -- Des had only come across one here in the past decade -- and quite rare nationally, with an estimate of 1000-2000 pairs in Britain.

I had a surprise myself when I saw a couple of unidentified small birds in a patch of scrub on Buck Hill.

They were very shy and flew into a tree as I approached, and then right away.

When I blew up the pictures, they turned out to be Stonechats, again unusual in the park although not particularly rare.

The Scaup is still on the Serpentine, and seen here on the right of a pair of Tufted Ducks. The difference in the colour of the iridescence on their heads is noticeable: although both can shine both purple and green, the green shade on the Scaup is much stronger.

The Mute Swans on the Long Water are gradually taking an interest in the island that has been built for them. The male spent some time on it, preening. They find it slightly difficult to scramble on to, but no doubt they will crush down the edge if they keep visiting it.

A pair of Egyptians were mating on the Round Pond.

On the Serpentine, a Great Crested Grebe was swimming along the edge looking for edible creatures under the concrete border of the lake.

And a Black-Headed Gull swerved deftly in midair to grab a thrown bit of bread.

Near the Italian Garden, a pair of Wood Pigeons were fighting.

The male Tawny Owl hadn't come out when I went by his tree for the last time at 4.30. The Little Owl in the chestnut tree poked his head out of his nest hole for about a second, and that was all I saw of him. The Cetti's Warbler was still in his usual place, though only singing occasionally.

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