Thursday, 8 June 2017

The white-faced Blackbird is now completely addicted to sultanas. She flew into the Italian Garden when she saw me and perched on the base of an urn to receive her treat. Then she followed me along the path and had three more helpings.

Surely they aren't bad for her. Blackbirds eat berries as part of their normal diet.

The female Little Owl was out in front of her hole, and had a bit of scratch before the arrival of a Magpie drove her in. Sorry about this rather shaky video. It needed a great deal of zoom and I didn't have a tripod, and the only way I could hold the camera anything like steady enough was to sit on the ground and brace my elbows against my knees.

A young Great Tit beside the Long Water was following its parents around, clamouring for food.

A Wren posed dramatically on an oak twig.

The four Mandarin ducklings on the Long Water are still in good order.

They are growing fast. Here is a close-up of one.

There are two chicks in the Coot nest on the post where the small electric launch is moored.

The Mute Swans who gave the Greylag Geese such a hard time were off their nest, and a Moorhen chick was standing on it, on one leg and with a king-of-the-castle attitude.

A visit to St James's Park to see the Black Swan was inconclusive. It was right on the far side of the lake, too far away to notice me, and when I crossed the lake it went round the island and disappeared. Will have to go back for this.

However, it was pleasing to see some Red Crested Pochard ducklings there, still quite a rare sight though getting commoner. In Kensington Gardens, they have only succeeded once in raising two young.

Little Grebes are much commoner in St James's Park than in our park, because the lake is stocked with small fish to feed the White Pelicans.

There was also an odd Greylag with a large white patch on its breast, and dark blue eyes.

Greylags quite often have a white patch on their forehead that makes people mistake them for White-Fronted Geese. This one was on the landing stage at the Diana fountain. It too has dark blue eyes.

Rabbits are still seldom seen in their usual place around the Henry Moore sculpture. The foxes are hitting them hard, and the usual outbreak of myxomatosis last autumn accounted for a good many. But there are usually lots of young ones at this time of year -- as many as 35 have been seen together here. Today a solitary adult was slowly munching a large leaf.


  1. just wanted to say 'thank-you' for all the enjoyable little films.

    1. and it seems a surprising choice of leaf! Looks hard and non-tasty to me, but then I'm human

    2. The leaf seems to be from the plant behind the rabbit on the right of the picture. I'm no good at plants, and don't know what it is. It took the rabbit about two minutes to get through, a long time considering how sharp their teeth are.

  2. Nice post Ralph.
    At home in south London we feed the Starlings and Blackbirds raisins and sultanas, and their young do really like it too. Last year a family of the Starlings in the gutter opposite appeared, and they were really quite wide!
    Is the white-faced Blackbird breeding?

    1. Starlings certainly like sweet things, to judge by their appetite for cake left on outside tables at the park restaurants.

      The white-faced Blackbird had a mate and a nest, but I haven't seen any young and maybe the nest was predated.

  3. I second everyone's happiness with the videos. They are lovely to watch. I would never have imagined that you didn't have a tripod in the Little Owl video. You have such a steady hand!

    It was very enjoyable seeing the Little Owl's pupils growing larger and smaller. Great details.

    1. It was interesting seeing the Little Owl's eyes doing that. It may be been mystified annoyance at what I was doing squatting on the ground. She knows me very well, as I have been photographing her for over five years -- but always standing up, and she is used to that.