Friday, 6 July 2012
One of the Little Owls was calling from the usual sweet chestnut tree near the leaf yard, completely hidden by the foliage.
A few Black-Headed Gulls have returned from their breeding territories, but there are only about half a dozen at present. The large gulls are still keeping to the Serpentine, and the gang of three Lesser Black-Backed Gulls that are usually on the Long Water were the other side of the bridge near the Lido. Their absence has allowed the Mallards to bring out their broods, and I saw four on the Long Water. One of them has four ducklings now almost large enough to be out of danger.
Apart from this it was a typical lazy summer day with traditional English summer drizzle. Large bands of Wood Pigeons are roaming around the long grass in Kensington Gardens.
The Great Crested Grebe family were out of sight again round the back of the Serpentine island. The grebe nest on the Long Water was still occupied, so clearly the birds here are serious about nesting. But the other grebes were just hanging around and dozing, something that they do superbly.
After a while the weather cleared up and people started sitting at the tables outside the Lido restaurant. Cue for a large crowd of Starlings to line up on the roof ready to launch raids on the tables.
The people at the restaurant have put out a machine which every now and then plays back the alarm calls of various birds. The birds take absolutely no notice. It is an American device and maybe the calls are wrong, or maybe these intelligent and persistent creatures have rumbled the deception.
There seem to be no Ring-Necked Parakeets in the park at all at present. Probably they have left London for the summer and are busy eating some farmer's crops.