Tuesday, 6 November 2012
A grey drizzly day, and no sign of a Tawny Owl in spite of several people looking at their usual places. They are probably sheltering inside their nest tree, though it is surely too early for them to actually start nesting in earnest. However, there were a lot of Jays; I saw 12 inside half an hour.
There were a lot of crows circling over the Royal Lancaster Hotel, which is the tall building over Lancaster Gate Tube station. At first I thought that some unlucky member of staff had died on the roof. But they didn't seem to land, and I think they were just enjoying an updraught caused by the wind blowing against the tower.
There are five Little Grebes on the Long Water now, and probably have been for several days though I was not sure until yesterday when I saw them all. Four of them go around in a group. Here the lone bird lurks modestly among the reeds near the Italian Garden. It needed to stay in cover, as there was a Black-Backed Gull waiting to snatch anything it caught.
There were at least 200 Greylag Geese near the Round Pond, feeding on the lush grass on the north side, which is less trampled than the other areas around the pond. Kensington Palace can be seen in the background.
Then an irresponsible man turned up with a loose dog, which chased them all into the water.
There are notices around the pond telling people to put their dogs on leads in the area -- and with reason: in the past two years dogs have killed 18 swans here. I remonstrated with the man. But unfortunately dog owners think that the world belongs to them and their pets, and he told me I was an idiot. This may be true, but it was beside the point.
The six young Egyptian Geese were all present and in good order. Again, their parents saw the dog coming from a long way off and hastily took their brood into the water. They are so wary of dogs that I think they have already had an unfortunate encounter.