The Tawny Owl family in Kensington Gardens is rather A-list celeb. They have faithfully reproduced in the same stand of Chestnut Trees for as far back as Des McKenzie (actually he's not that old) can remember. Every year there has been a wee pilgrimage of London Birders, hoping for a glimpse of this obliging family as the adults roost, and the fluffy owlets start the most alarming practice of "branching".
As I understand it, Tawnies nest in a hole, but the young rapidly outgrow it. They therefore clamber out onto a branch, and are attended by their parents there. This sounds ideal, but in reality the chicks then get up to all sorts of mischief; throwing themselves (with frantic flapping) into adjoining trees, and clambering around the branches to the consternation of the small twitch.
Des's latest babies made their entrance onto the branch on Friday, causing a flutter of excitement on the Londonbirders yahoo group (there are in fact three owlets, the same as last year). There has been a constant stream of visitors today, and Des has been patiently trouping everyone around. Myself and Max pitched up with heaps of camera gear to capture the moment for posterity. They are really cute.