Sunday, 16 March 2014

Three in one day. Kensington Gardens, London Wetland Centre and Cranford CP

I was undecided where to go today. I really wanted to see the newly found Oak Tree Little Owls at Kensington Gardens, but I also wanted to try and photograph the Green Sandpiper at the London Wetland Centre and a part of me was craving to get back to see the Kestrels at Cranford Park.
 So I did all three.
At Kensington Gardens, the usual photogenic Herons were posing for photos.
The male Tawny Owl was snoozing on his balcony. Now the leaves are emerging, it was quite tricky trying to get a focused shot, but no matter how much I shuffled under the tree, the Owl slept through it.
There were lots of Parakeets 'in love' today.
I found a couple of other photographers by the Little Owls tree. We heard one calling a couple of times but couldn't see it at first. I decided to wait it out and found a convenient log to sit on.
My first shield bug of the year joined me, a stunning Hawthorn Shield Bug.
After waiting patiently for an hour, one of the Little Owls appeared. I managed to fire off a few shots before it disappeared again.
From there I made my way over to Barnes (the London Wetland Centre). The usual crew were there, Phillip, John C, Therese, Joe, John F and Maryann. They advised the Green Sandpiper was very flighty, and being seen from different places. I had a few looks for it, but didn't succeed.
There was quite a lot of bird behaviour to watch today.
The male Teals were chasing each other.
There are at least four Redshanks on site, and when they weren't feeding, they were also very active chasing each around and calling.
The Coots were showing territorial behaviour.
Little Grebes could be heard 'trilling'.
Shovellers were also chasing away any male that came too close.
Lapwings were seen regularly flying up to mob Crows.
I only saw one butterfly today, another Peacock, though others also saw a Comma and Brimstone.
From there Phillip, Joe and I went to Cranford Park. The Kestrels are getting really possessive over their tree now. We watched the female shoot out of the nest to see off a Woodpigeon that foolishly landed too close. Tony James sent me a text this morning to say he had seen the male deliver food to the female on the nest, so all the signs that she either has already lain eggs, or is about to, look good.
After Phillip and Joe left, I found the male Kestrel perched nearby.
So all in all, a very pleasant day out though I'll probably pay for it tomorrow with my shoulder, and I did dip on the Green Sandpiper.

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