Sunday, 14 April 2013
The female Tawny Owl was visible, more or less, in the California bay tree in the Flower Walk.
All four owlets could be seen early this morning in the other tall evergreen, but shifted into invisible places later. Owlets don't sleep much during the day and move around a good deal.
There was a male Kestrel in a tree near the Queen's Temple. I have heard and seen a Kestrel in this spot several times during the past year, probably the same one.
The Mute Swans that nested in the reed bed near the Lido last year have returned to the same place, and were busy tearing down reeds to make their nest when I passed.
It is a reasonably good place, as can be seen from their success in raising seven cygnets last year. There is plenty of cover, unless they destroy too many of the surrounding reeds, and it is separated from the path by two low fences. It isn't fox-proof: nowhere on the shore is, and even the island might be raided by a determined fox prepared to swim a few yards.
The pair of swans on the Long Water seem to have settled for the nest site under the parapet of the Italian Garden; at least they have been there for several days. It is an absurdly public place, but humans are not their main worry.
A pair of Great Crested Grebes have built a nest in an overhanging tree only 30 ft from the existing nest under the willow near the bridge. This is much too close for the comfort of these territorial birds, so there will probably be a lot of bickering. The first pair have not yet laid any eggs, as I was able to ascretain when the sitting bird stood up. Both nests are easily visible from the path, though less easy to photograph because there are twigs in the way.
In the narrow strip of water behind the platform of Bluebird Boats, a pair of Egyptian Geese were parading their new, very young brood of four. Here is one of them, noticeably blonder than its siblings. I wonder whether it will be an unusual colour as an adult if it survives.
Of course the family was being showered with food by the visitors, much of it thoroughly unsuitable. Egyptian Geese are not fussy, but they don't like Cheesy Wotsits.