Sunday, 27 May 2012
One of the teenage Tawny Owls was cheekily sitting in his father's favourite place in the nest tree.
There is a Moorhens' nest in the reeds just under the parapet of the Italian Garden. There is usually one here every year, but this is the first time that it has been built so close to the edge, and has been visible. I fear that it won't escape the sharp eyes and sharper beaks of the Grey Herons.
The Moorhens built a nest even more in the open a couple of weeks ago and got as far as laying an egg, but then abandoned it.
A large hoarding is being erected on the east side of the Vista, where they are preparing to replace that very ugly Henry Moore sculpture. When it was site there some years ago, the foundations were not strong enough and it subsided into the ground and was removed, to general relief. But last year they built some massive concrete foundations for it, and evidently the thing is going back in time for the Olympics. Which would not be bird news except for one thing: the workmen have just added a pair of large iron gateposts. So it looks as if this great lump is going to be made even more hideous by putting an enclosure around it -- another encroachment on the open space and wildlife habitat of the park. It is not as if it needed protection from the public, since the area is already behind railings. Sadly, it's made out of stone, not bronze which might have led to its being stolen by scrap metal thieves.
Here is a remarkable picture by Andrew, of a Common Tern that has just caught a fish. It was taken last year; there have been few visits from terns this year because there are not enough fish of the right size in the lake. These birds can often be seen flying up and down the Grand Union Canal from Paddington Basin out to beyond Wormwood Scrubs. Heaven knows how they manage to see the fish in its murky water. But it is quite a healthy habitat and I have seen other fishing birds there, such as Cormorants and -- just once -- a Little Grebe.