Monday, 17 November 2014

Both the Tawny Owls were out. The female was in the beech tree and, for once, was having a bit of peace.

The male had attracted the usual chorus of disapproval, but since it consisted only of three rattling Mistle Thrushes and a chipping Blackbird, he was not much bothered by it. Owls must get used to such things.

The female Little Owl was in the chestnut tree next to her nest tree.

There was a Wren in one of the clumps of water plants in the Italian Garden.

Wrens seem to like the cover provided by these dense clumps, since there was another Wren flitting around the similar ones in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace.

A new feeder has been put up at the top end of the Dell, near the waterfall. It is full of dried mealworms and was attracting Great Tits and Blue Tits.

It is an elegant thing with an acrylic container and base. However, it is open and as soon as the Starlings discover it, they will empty it in a couple of hours. Ring-Necked Parakeets and Feral Pigeons may also be able to get food out. The tray at the base, evidently intended to catch fallen food, will become smelly and disgusting as soon as rain falls on fragments of mealworm, and the resulting slurry may spread disease. The choice of bird feeders needs careful thought.

There was a line of 21 Black-Headed Gulls on the railing of the Lido swimming area, with a Lesser Black-Backed Gull at the end. Below, a young Herring Gull was trying to perch on a buoy, which tipped over under its weight. It had already fallen off at least once.

The Little Grebe was heading briskly away from this area, and I just managed to catch a quick picture before it disappeared behind the reed bed.

A few days ago there was a comment on this blog lamenting the death of three of the eight young Egyptian Geese at the Round Pond. I passed by today and am happy to report that they are all alive.

But as soon as they see me they rush towards me expectantly, hoping to be fed. This is not a good sign, as it shows that well-meaning people have been giving them bread, which is extremely bad for them and brings the risk of their developing 'angel wing'. There are some notices around the pond asking people not to do this, but people don't read them or don't care.


  1. Hi Ralph
    Are there 2 family parties of Egyptian geese? I definently saw and photographed 2 adults with 5 goslings on the 12th, there were no other goslings around - would the other 3 have been left on their own?

    1. I am sure that there is only one family, with eight. I think that when you were there the other three had wandered off and were out of sight.

  2. RE giving birds bread - people don't read AND don't care!

    1. Sadly true. And don't get me started on dog owners.