Thursday, 21 March 2013
The male Tawny Owl was heard hooting this morning somewhere to the north of the nest tree. A search didn't find him. If the owlets had been with him they would have been much easier to find, but the adults tend to sit close in to tree trunks, and they blend into the bark of most trees. Anyway, this raises the possibility that the owlets are going to appear north of their usual place. Last year they were well to the south of the nest tree. A larger area to search, but we will keep it up.
No sign of the Little Owl today, but it was quite chilly and probably he was sheltering inside the usual tree.
The top of the Long Water next to the Italian Garden was again busy with fishing birds. This time it was the Grey Heron that chased the Cormorant away. The Kingfisher has a favourite perch on the willow tree 20 feet from the edge of the Garden, and I managed to get quite a close shot of it by crawling up behind the balustrade and poking the camera through it. If you are visible above the parapet and seem to be taking any notice of this shy bird, it will be away in a blue flash.
Two Grey Herons on the Serpentine island were having a dispute over the ownership of the largest nest.
Just after I took this picture the upper bird was driven off and settled in a very small nest on another tree. It would be tempting for a heron to take the largest nest available, to save the considerable labour of gathering twigs to make one of these large messy constructions from scratch.
Also at the Serpentine island, there was a row of four gulls of different kinds: impossible to resist taking a picture. From left to right they are Common, Lesser Black-Backed, Herring and Black-Headed Gulls -- the last of these with the dark brown head of its breeding plumage.
The two pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gulls were amicably sharing a fish.
It looked rather stale, and had probably died of natural causes some time ago. But gulls aren't fussy about such things.