Friday, 24 October 2014

An immature male Shoveller was standing on the edge of one of the Italian Garden ponds, looking miserable. It allowed me to come quite close, which is not normal behaviour for these shy birds. Closer inspection showed that it had a wound on its upper chest, and another one on at the bottom of the nape of its neck. I am pretty certain that it had been seized by a Peregrine, and had managed to struggle free from its talons.

When I came past an hour later it was still in the same place, as dejected as ever. But it was a very lucky duck, and I hope it soon recovers from its fright and its injuries.

This duck is the Mallard that we mistakenly thought was an adopted Tufted duckling because it was dark chocolate brown. It is still in the same place, at the far east end of the Serpentine, and has grown into a dark but normally marked female (or at least, if it were male, I think it would have shown signs of a yellow bill by now).

The two Jackdaws are still on the north side of the Serpentine. A couple of days ago I saw them from a distance over this spot, playing in the strong wind. They are certainly two of the Jackdaws from Kensington Gardens, because they took pieces of digestive biscuit without hesitation.

A Blackbird was eating berries in the yew bush between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden.

A Song Thrush arrived on the branch behind it, and surprisingly chased the larger bird out before returning and diving into the middle of the bush.

The male Little Owl was in the chestnut tree next to his nest tree, perched on one of his favourite branches.

The male Tawny Owl was not visible but it was quite clear where he was, because two Magpies were looking down at his nest site in the hollow tree and yelling at him. This one is standing right on the edge of the hole, which seemed unwise with an angry owl just below.

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