Saturday, 10 November 2012
An excellent day for owls. The two Tawny Owls had moved round to the other side of the beech tree near their nest tree, and were sitting side by side in plain sight. This picture was taken at 4.14 pm, when the light was fading and they were waking up for an evening's hunting. Jut before this, the male had called briefly. He didn't really need to with his mate inches away, but perhaps it was just a bit of joie de vivre.
The Little Owls were also calling to each other, one inside the leaf yard and one on a sweet chestnut tree outside. Then the outside owl flew into the leaf yard.
There were 10 Fieldfares eating berries on the west side of the leaf yard.
On the Long Water near the Italian Garden, the Little Grebes were fishing under an old fallen tree trunk. A squirrel jumped on to a branch just above. The bird on the left of this picture was undisturbed but the one on the right did a crash dive. Normally Little Grebes dive with very little splash, but not when they are in a panic.
In the marble fountain at the south end of the Italian Garden, a Feral Pigeon was having a wash. It tried to bathe in the fountain basin but the water was too rough for it, so it stood on the edge and held up its wings alternately in the shower.
At the far end of the Serpentine, the youngest Great Crested Grebe has been extending both wings frequently for several days. They are still developing -- it's only two and a half months old -- and not ready for flight yet. Do grebes get growing pains? Is it a way of strengthening the wing muscles?