Sunday, 11 November 2012
A beautiful day. Here a Tufted Duck, in his full breeding plumage with brilliant white sides, half opens an eye as he dozes in the warm sunshine.
And the three speckled Canada-Greylag hybrids attend to their feathers near the Serpentine island.
This picture, hastily snatched in the last of the daylight yesterday, is the first shot of one of the park's Little Owls since they were frightened by children and became wary and hard to see in early summer. It flew out of a tree and perched for an instant on a twig before disappearing into the leaf yard. It was taken by Alan Clubb, a serious photographer with faster reactions than me.
When the leaves fall off it is possible to see some way into the leaf yard, and we hope for longer sightings of the Little Owls, either here or in the row of ancient sweet chestnut trees they often lurk in on the south side of the yard.
The Tawny Owls were in their beech tree again, but after they were harassed by Jays they shifted and only the male was visible, in his usual high perch masked by leaves.
Here is a brilliant shot of a Jay snatching a peanut off the railings, taken by Alan's 12-year-old son Daniel.
Anyone who has tried to photograph Jays taking food will know how difficult it is: they slam down on the fence, grab the nut faster than the eye can see, and kick off like an Olympic swimmer turning at the end of the pool before they vanish into a tree.