Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Great Crested Grebes under the willow tree near the bridge have started building a nest in their usual haphazard way. They carry bits of twig and weed around the general area where they intend to build, and drop them to see if they stick to anything.

More often than not, they don't. But somehow this aimless activity can produce a floating platform solid enough to use. However, they are probably not serious about nesting so early in the year. They can do it any time between now and September.

They were also having a territorial squabble about the wire basket at the other end of the bridge. If they establish a nest, the basket at their end of the bridge will certainly be theirs to fish in, but they want the other one too.

Once a Shoveller starts shovelling, it advances with determination. This pair was feeding among a large group of Black-Headed Gulls on the Serpentine. If a gull was in the way, it had to move.

At the east end of the Serpentine, a Mute Swan was asleep under the parapet of the bridge.

A Nuthatch in the leaf yard waited on a twig while I put some nuts on the fence for it.

As soon as I had finished it dashed down, coming within inches of my hand. They are getting more confident about humans, hardly surprising considering that several people are feeding them.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual place, receiving homage from the Saturday photographers.

He must be the most photographed owl in the world; he even gets foreign visitors who have heard of his fame.

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