Friday, 5 April 2013
One of the adult Tawny Owls seen today is certainly the male of the usual pair from the familiar nest tree. His round face and pot-bellied figure are quite distinctive.
Here is a guide to finding the family. From the Albert Memorial, walk north a few yards till you emerge in the open park. Then look to the northwest and you will see this.
The tree marked 'Adult' is about halfway along the section of the Flower Walk between the memorial and the crossing of the path from Queen's Gate -- this crossing is shut at present and you can only enter the Flower Walk from the memorial end. The tree is the tallest one in that section of the path, and is some kind of evergreen with lanceolate leaves -- see picture in Wednesday's blog post. The best place to see the adult owl or owls will probably be from the north side of the tree, but it is also worth going along the Flower Walk to look from the other side.
The tree marked 'Owlets' is one of the old sweet chestnut trees planted in 1690. It is hollow from top to bottom and full of holes. The owlets have mostly stayed inside, and no more than one has emerged at a time. However, you can hear others.
One of the male Northern Wheatears remains on the part of the Parade Ground that is being resurfaced. Today he was moving around in the area to the south of the heaps of soil. He is very active and you will probably first spot him running or flying.
There are still plenty of Redwings and a few Fieldfares at the south end of the Parade Ground, prospecting for worms and bugs in the freshly laid turf. I would have expected them to prefer older grassed areas, but evidently they know what they are doing.
The two Mute Swans on the Long Water were exploring a nest site on the east side, on the bank below the bench dedicated to Rudolf Steiner.
There were again a lot of Pied Wagtails on the south side of the Serpentine, mostly around the Lido.
On the Serpentine a pair of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls were courting on a pedalo.