Tuesday, 4 February 2014

There were more Redwings on the Parade Ground today, at least 25. They were rushing around on the churned earth and dead grass, and occasionally the whole flock would take fright and fly into the nearest tree.

I managed to get a bit closer to one of them by staying still and waiting until it was no longer particularly bothered by me. If you do this with Song Thrushes or Mistle Thrushes they will sometimes hop right up to you, but not wary Redwings.

There was a Cormorant in full breeding plumage on a post near the bridge, with white feathers on its head and a white patch on each thigh. To a human eye it looks rather a mess, but it is attractive to the opposite sex.

The Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis subspecies of Cormorant, found in mainland Europe (although sinensis means 'Chinese'), and quite common in London, is supposed to have more white on its head than the British subspecies P. c. carbo. However, this is a carbo, as you can tell from the acute angle of the upper rear corner of its gular pouch -- the yellow skin at the back of the lower mandible of its bill. This page shows the difference.

The Grey Herons on the island are interested in their half-built nests again.

However, they are still building in a rather desultory way and it isn't clear whether anything will come of it.

The playful young Herring Gull's current toy is a red leaf.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual tree, more or less asleep but opening one eye a little to make sure it was only the usual people with cameras.

There was a small flock of Goldfinches beside the Long Water. For some reason they are only occasionally seen in the park, and in fact it's easier to find them in a London street. Annoyingly, they remained hidden by twigs and I couldn't get a usable picture.

1 comment:

  1. A really varied and meaty diet today. Thank you for a particularly good blog.