Thursday, 20 August 2015

There were at least 20 Mistle Thrushes on Buck Hill hunting for insects and worms in the long grass. This is an excellent good place for them, since when they tire of insects they can fly over to the rowan trees and eat berries.

The usual Jackdaws were waiting for me near the bridge, expecting peanuts. They too hunt for small creatures in the grass. The crow family belong to the order Passeriformes, that is songbirds -- they are the largest members of the family -- and in this close-up you can see the typical songbird's bristles at the side of the beak which function like a cat's whiskers and help them to forage in grass and leaf litter.

The four Moorhen chicks from the nest in the reeds were on the path underneath. They like bits of digestive biscuit but have some trouble eating them. Crows hold things down with their feet to peck at them but Moorhens, despite their large prehensile feet, haven't had that idea.

The young Lesser Black-Backed Gull was on the roof of the Dell restaurant along with the pair of pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backs, but this time it was not begging them to feed it.  Probably it is not theirs but, when I first saw it, it was trying begging to see what would happen. The adults tolerated it because young creatures of all kinds are allowed to misbehave.

Lesser Black-Backed Gulls usually have yellow legs, but this one has pinkish-grey legs like a Herring Gull.

Common Gulls have even more varied leg colours: off-white, pale yellow, pale green and any shade of grey from very light to charcoal -- this last colour in the case of the dark subspecies from northern Europe.

I now have the history of the gull with the ring that I photographed yesterday. It was ringed on Canvey Island in the Thames Estuary and has been as far afield as ... Fulham. Oh well.

The Great Crested Grebe family from the island were out in the middle of the Serpentine. The chicks are getting quite large.

Three Magpies on the fence at the Vista were forming the notes F A C.

The male Little Owl had come out to the front of his nest tree and was fast asleep.

One of the owlets was wide awake inside the tree.


  1. E G B surely??? lol
    Mark W2

    1. Difficult to say if they are on lines or in spaces. I reckoned they would only count as being on lines if they were clinging on sideways so that their bodies were directly in front of the rails.

    2. hah! i see what you mean. nice idea anyway :)))

    3. They do look a bit crotchety... maybe because of some two-timing? ;-) Jim n.L.

  2. We had FIVE Little Egrets at our modest village pond last night, plus one slightly disgruntled looking heron. The Egrets like to perch in the oak trees over looking the pond, and in the evening light, they look like glow in the dark white rugby balls tucked in the foliage.

  3. Every Great Bird Deserves Fotograf?
    Mark W2