Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Tawny owlets were active and noisy again today. I found them in the beech tree next to the nest tree, and they immediately flew into a tall lime two trees to the north of the nest tree, where I got this picture of two of them.

The third flew towards the leaf yard, and I heard their father calling as it arrived, though I couldn't find where they were.

Only the male Little Owl was visible today. He was in his usual place in the chestnut tree.

Charle and Melissa, the two familiar Carrion Crows whose territory stretches from the Tawny Owls' tree to the Italian Garden, have two youngsters. Paul Turner is giving the family mealworm pellets to make sure they grow up properly nourished, as the junk food diet of the park crows tends to cause white patches on their wings. Young birds are more susceptible to malnutrition than adults, because they are growing. This is Melissa eating out of Paul's hand. She has a few greyish feathers, but that is simply because they are old feathers from last year and have faded a bit.

A Chaffinch just happened to be flying past in the background.

Here is a male Mandarin in eclipse. He is looking almost like a female, and in a couple of weeks will have lost the last traces of his fine coloured breeding plumage. Only the reddish colour of his bill will show that he is indeed a drake.

The fountains in the Italian Garden have been broken for some time, and the weed now forms a thick and smelly mat in the ponds. But these young Moorhens are perfectly happy in the slime, and seem to be able to swim through it.

The Song Thrush who sings so well in the leaf yard is seldom visible, but today he was on a dead branch at the top of an old chestnut tree, giving a fine performance.

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