Friday, 27 April 2012
It was time for the monthly bird count. My route is around the Long Water and the Serpentine, with a circuit of the Dell. I count only water birds in Kensington Gardens, since the land birds are counted by Marie Gill, but I count both kinds in Hyde Park. This odd arrangement is because there is no point in counting water birds on half the lake, when they move so freely from one end to the other.
Naturally the count is dominated by routine pigeons and ducks, so it's pleasing when something more interesting turns up. This time I found the pair of Willow Warblers again, in the children's play area behind the Lido, and a Kestrel flew over both lakes.
There was an unexpected glimpse of four owlets in the Tawny Owls' nest tree. Their father was in his usual place on one of the four trees in front of it.
A pair of Blue Tits is building a nest in one of the gas lamp posts behind the Lido, as in previous years. The nest is in the hollow post, not in the lamp itself. The birds were furiously scolding a Jay which had landed on the crossbar of the post and was looking down the hole.
Near the Dell restaurant, a Carrion Crow was living up to its name by picking the last scraps off the carcase of a pigeon that had probably been killed by the Lesser Black-Backed Gull -- see my posting of 25 April.
There are three pairs of Gadwall on the lake, which is more than usual. But they are never permanent residents, as their real home is on the lake at Buckingham Palace.