Saturday, 28 April 2012
Both of the Tawny Owl parents and four of the owlets were just visible today through the leaves. Finding them is made easier by the fact that they have decided to stay in the same few trees for the time being: the nest tree and the middle two of the row of horse chestnuts in front of it.
There were a few Goldfinches and Greenfinches around the leaf yard. For some reason neither of these is very common in the park; especially odd in the case of Goldfinches, which can be seen in large numbers in gardens not far away.
About 30 Swifts were hunting over the Serpentine, with a couple of House Martins. No sign of House Martins nesting on the French Embassy yet.
As usual, there was a huge mob of Coots on the Serpentine near the Triangle car park. There are over 120 of them on the lake. They are hard to love, with their ungainly appearance and savage fights.
But they have a softer side. They are particularly fond of red and pink things, because of their instinctive response to the red faces of their young chicks, and like to decorate their nest with them.
Shiny things are also attractive. Here is a Coot trying unsuccessfully to round up a silver helium balloon to attach to its nest. But it didn't get the idea of towing it with the string, and eventually the balloon blew away.
There were four Mistle Thrushes and two Song Thrushes flying around the large isolated plane tree at the south end of the Parade Ground. Thrushes have always liked this area, but every winter they are driven off it by the huge and hideous Winter Wonderland funfair, and have to take refuge on the centre reservation of Park Lane where, in spite of the noise, no one bothers them. It is good to see that they are keeping a hold on their original territory.