Monday, 3 February 2014

As expected, some Redwings have turned up on the Parade Ground, in the area where the grass was ruined by the funfair and is now fenced off. I could only see three, all near the bandstand. They are very shy birds and appreciate the way the fence keeps people at a distance, and this picture had to be taken from too far way.

The usual Pied Wagtails were also running about, and a Mistle Thrush was carefully examining the ground for worms.

All this peaceful activity was in strong contrast to the top of the Parade Ground, where a large detachment of cavalry were galloping around doing manoeuvres with field guns, giving the impression that they were practising for the Crimean War.

A dead tree near the Speke obelisk was attracting several birds. An Egyptian Goose was standing on top, with his mate calling to him from another dead tree a few yards away -- it is the females that make most of the noise.

And lower down, a pair of Ring-Necked Parakeets were exploring a hole with a view to nesting in it.

Last spring this tree had a Treecreeper's nest in it as well, and I shall be keeping an eye on it.

The male Tawny Owl, in his usual place on the nest tree, was awake and restless, and stared intently at me several times when I was photographing him.

On 3 January, while taking a picture of some other birds, I accidentally photographed a Black-Headed Gull on the Serpentine with a Dutch plastic ring, EAJ0. It also had a metal ring which I couldn't get close enough to read. I reported it to Frank Majoor, who receives the reports of Dutch rings, and he told me that the plastic ring had been put on in January 2012, but the metal ring, ST285884, was older, and had been put on in Finland in August 2011 when the gull was a few months old. Later I had an email from the man who had ringed the bird in Holland, Benny Middeldorp, asking me for a photograph of the bird. This was difficult, because the picture I took just had part of the gull in it, out of focus.

However, someone else had seen the gull twice in Regent's Park. It seemed likely that it was at home there and had just come to Hyde Park for a day's visit. So yesterday and today I went to Regent's Park, and today it was the edge of the lake.