Thursday, 7 September 2017

A Grey Wagtail was looking for insects beside the little waterfall in the Dell. Grey Wagtails like fast running water, and a pair nest near here every year.

A Coot in the Long Water caught a fish. It had certainly caught it, as the fish was alive. I don't think I've seen this before.

A young Herring Gull was finishing off the remains of a Feral Pigeon left by the notorious pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull. A Carrion Crow hoping for a share got impatient and pulled the gull's tail.

A Carrion Crow and a Starling were bathing near the Lido. A Starling's bath is a very brisk business.

Two Starlings preened in the plane trees next to the boathouses.

A Mistle Thrush reached for a rowan berry in the tree on Buck Hill.

A Coal Tit pulled a seed out of the feeder in the Rose Garden. They always stand on the feeder with one foot braced against the side so that the tiny bird can exert a stronger pull.

A Magpie looked for insects in the gaps between the planks in a tabletop ...

... its usual technique for cracks in tree bark.

The Feral Pigeons' bathing place in the Italian Garden fountain was busy, with a queue building up on the plank. A pigeon that stayed in the water too long was pecked out of the way.

The Little Owl at the leaf yard was in her usual chestnut tree.

The piebald rat was in the same place in the shrubbery near the bridge.

A heavily pregnant squirrel ate a peanut that someone had given her.

It wasn't me. I don't feed squirrels even if they're eating for five.


  1. The squirrel, introduced invasive species in the London parks area, seems to have a similar versicolor pattern as the pied rat. I'm just noting it. I've never seen a rat like this pied rat and plan to ask Jackson Labs in the US how this pied coloration might come about in the "wild". In the squirrel, we speculated it might be adaptive, given that it is a tree squirrel and viewed from above by a hawk the brown might blend in and viewed from below, the white might blend with the light and sky. But, a pied rat, seems a different situation.

    1. Paul found a rat whose top half was brown and lower half completely white. It's quite common for rats to be counter-coloured, with brown backs and white bellies. Perhaps this is counter-colouring gone wrong?

  2. Coots are evolving and adapting (or perhaps they are reverting back to their T-Rex ancestry). Scary business.

    What lovely picture of the grey wagtail on the waterfall! I can almost hear the sound of water rushing down.

    I thought I was the only person on earth who disliked squirrels... I am pleased to find that I am not alone.

    1. I'm all in favour of our native red squirrels. But they have been exterminated over almost all of England, as far north as Yorkshire, by the relentless spread of the American grey squirrels that were introduced by an idiot in the 19th century. But more practically, if you start feeding them they will never leave you alone. This also applies to Starlings and Rose-Ringed Parakeets. So I'm not starting.