Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Tawny Owl family had moved to another tree, and I couldn't find them in a half-hour search. The lateness of their arrival, when the leaves are fully out, makes it much harder to find them, and we may only get an occasional glimpse of them now. But it's wonderful to know that they are all right.

There are still some Mandarin ducklings on the Long Water. Here a little procession passes under a willow tree on the opposite side of the Long Water from Peter Pan.

Mandarin ducklings can be distinguished from Mallard ducklings because they have an extra horizontal dark stripe under their eye. Mallards just have a single stripe through the eye.

During a heavy shower the path beside the Serpentine was deserted, and a brood of young Egyptian Geese saw their chance and went to eat some excitingly different plants on the edge of the shrubbery.

One of the Grey Wagtails was hunting flies over the Long Water, clearly collecting them for nestlings because it was holding a collection of insects in its beak.

There must be more than one nest of Grey Wagtails because they are now seen so often, more in fact than the usually common Pied Wagtails.

A Song Thrush was also collecting food for nestlings -- a green caterpillar and an earthworm -- on the path by the bridge.

While I was taking this picture I heard the first Reed Warbler of the year singing his clattering song in the reed bed opposite, on the west side of the Long Water. It is not much of a reed bed, having mostly died off, but there were workmen in the bigger reed bed near the Diana memorial.

Moorhens are again nesting under the platform of Bluebird Boats.

They have been chasing away other Moorhens that enter their territory.

A young Starling was looking out of its nest hole in one of the plane trees near the boathouse, waiting for its parents to bring food.

This is a different nest from the one I photographed a few days ago. There are at least three Starlings' nests in these two smallish trees, maybe more.

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