Friday, 3 May 2013

The female Tawny Owl was in the same horse chestnut tree as the owlets, of which I saw two.

If you walk along the path just to the north side of the Flower Walk, starting at the Albert Memorial end, carry on for 50 yards: this is the last tree on the right side of the path before a gap where several trees in the line are missing.

Nearby, in the green shade of the new horse chestnut leaves, a Treecreeper was poking about in a hole.

This may be a nest hole, but the bird didn't go right in, and I think it was just exploring for insects.

The Little Owl was also sunbathing in his usual tree. Splendid as he is, we had a picture of him yesterday, so I won't put up another.

In one of the ponds of the Italian Garden, a pair of Coots have built a nest and already have six eggs.

This may be the same pair of Coots that have nested in the pond in the past two years. They are also in the same clump of reeds as last year, but that is not surprising as it is the only clump without wire netting round it. The gardeners put in the netting last year in a vain attempt to stop Coots from wrecking the water plants, but the Coots had already built their nest in this clump, so the gardeners left it alone. In fact, every bit of protective chicken wire and nylon netting on the lake has been breached by Coots, so perhaps there is no point in trying to stop these persistent birds from chewing up the foliage. They have also made a complete mess of the plants in the floating baskets around the Serpentine island, by chewing off the top of any plant that pokes out of the basket.

On the Serpentine near the bridge, a Great Crested Grebe had been fishing around the submerged baskets of twigs, which grebes do by sticking their head into the mesh and pulling out the small perch that try to hide among the twigs. Tiring of this game, it came out to fish in the open water.

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