Sunday, 24 March 2013
A raw day, but spring continues unstoppably. At the east end of the Serpentine a pair of Egyptian Geese were canoodling among the budding daffodils.
These are almost certainly the two that successfully raised eight young last year. There are only two pairs of Egyptians where the female completely lacks a brown eye patch, and the other one is the hopeless pair on the Long Water who hatch brood after brood and lose them all in a few days.
The Great Crested Grebes under the willow tree by the bridge have repaired their neglected nest with more twigs and plane leaves dredged from the bottom of the lake, and have reoccupied it.
Plane leaves are very slow to decay, because they have a waxy cuticle that makes them waterproof. Since plane trees are abundant in the park, it causes the gardeners trouble because they take so long to rot down into leafmould.
On 25 January I showed two pictures of a young Lesser Black-Backed Gull playing with a ball. Today I saw what might or might not be the same bird playing with a stick.
It kept picking it up and waving it about and dropping it. The stick was obviously inedible, and there was no doubt that the gull was simply amusing itself.
There was a Chiffchaff running along the edge of the Serpentine in just the same way as a wagtail. In fact I thought it was one of the Grey Wagtails when I first saw it. It was harassed by a Pied Wagtail and chased away, and this poor shot is the best I was able to grab in the brief time I had it in view.
I went carefully all over the area where there might be a Tawny Owl family, but could see no sign of them. The Little Owl was also out of sight. Who could blame them for staying indoors in this weather?