Friday, 7 November 2014

It was a windy day, and gulls were wheeling over the lake -- these are all the small, agile Black-Headed Gulls. It seems that they enjoy the wind, as Carrion Crows, Jackdaws and all the birds of prey do.

The wind kept the Little Owls inside their tree, but the male Tawny Owl was out on the beech tree, on a branch on the sheltered side of the trunk.

When I went past the tree a second time he was being mobbed by Magpies and Jays, and as I arrived he lost patience with them and flew across to his nest hole in the neighbouring horse chestnut.

There were at least 20 Cormorants on the lake. This one had been fishing in one of the wire baskets near the bridge, and was taking a pause for digestion and scratching its ear.

One of the Shovellers on the Long Water came over to the west side so that his fine plumage could be admired.

There were again several Mistle Thrushes eating berries in the rowan trees on Buck Hill.

I have yet to see another Redwing there, or anywhere in the park so far.

Charlie the Carrion Crow was dunking a peanut in a puddle. Crows don't like dry food. They would always dunk digestive biscuits if possible, and recently have gone off them altogether.

The Diana fountain is closed for repairs -- they are laying more drains around this long-running engineering disaster -- and the deserted lawn had attracted one of the Jackdaws.

It is noticeable that birds which eat small invertebrates prefer areas of grass where good topsoil has been laid with high-quality turf on top. In this enclosure, the original clay soil was replaced to a depth of several feet in an effort to improve its drainage and prevent the floods which occurred immediately after it was opened, and turf was bought from a firm specialising in football pitches. So whenever the place is not full of humans it is popular with Herring Gulls and Pied Wagtails, as well as with geese which enjoy the lush grazing.

This female Pied Wagtail was enjoying the bugs in another patch of expensive turf in the recently landscaped lawn of Kensington Palace.

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