Tuesday, 2 April 2013
This morning at 6 am Dave the gardener saw an adult Tawny Owl in the Flower Walk just north of the Albert Memorial. No one is sure whether this is one of the familiar owls from the nest tree 300 yards to the north, or whether it is another owl. Subsequently several people searched for the bird, but no one has found it again yet. It may be spending the day in an ilex tree on the edge of the Flower Walk about 50 yards west of the crossing at the back of the memorial. This tree's dense evergreen foliage could completely hide any number of owls.
It was a pleasant day, the first for some time. Here a Moorhen wanders among the spring daffodils in Kensington Gardens.
This Coot in the Serpentine is eating a bunch of sprouting wheat.
These bunches of are left over from the celebration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which occurs on the day of the spring equinox, this year on 20 April. They are a symbol of the rebirth of nature. Originally a Zoroastrian festival, Nowruz is now celebrated widely. After the plants have grown for some days they are thrown into water, and today they are all round the edge of the lake.
Another sign of spring: this Carrion Crow is gathering fallen feathers to line its nest.
So are pairs of Long-Tailed Tits, though I have not managed to get a picture of one actually carrying a feather so far this year: this one was just perched low down in a bush scanning the ground.
Long-Tailed Tits perform an immense amount of work gathering materials for their large spherical nests; maybe 20,000 feathers are needed for the lining. The outside of the nest is a composite of spiders' webs for tensile strength and moss as a filler and insulator. You may be lucky enough to see one of these birds collecting cobwebs from the ceiling of the pedestrian tunnels at each end of the Serpentine bridge.