Thursday 24 January 2013

Fieldfares remain hard to photograph, and this distant shot is the best I could get.

There are quite a lot of them around. Apart from those in the park, I saw a small flock feeding on the grass in Queen's Gate Gardens half a mile to the south. People keep out of the gardens of London squares in cold weather, so they are good places to see Fieldfares, Redwings, and other winter visiting thrushes.

That includes migrant Blackbirds, of which there are large numbers in the park at the moment. Some of them are beginning to realise that humans will give them food, and have stopped flying away when I throw them a bit of cheese. But they haven't attained the confidence of the residents, which come out and stand in your way, chirping to attract attention, until you give them a snack.

The Bearded Tits remain wonderfully conveniently placed, and I make no excuse for including yet another picture of them.

The seeds of the Phragmites reeds that they eat are covered in fluff, which the birds don't remove before swallowing them. No wonder they need to fly down for a drink of water so often.

No sign of the male Tawny Owl since I photographed him on the 17th. But he has a large hollow tree to shelter him from the freezing wind, and is probably sensibly staying indoors. The Little Owls also remain elusive.

The second-year Great Black-Backed Gull was hanging out with the two pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gulls at the Dell Restaurant.

No doubt they all had the same idea on their fierce little minds. Great Black-Backs routinely kill and eat pigeons. However, they had no success while I was there, and one of the Lesser Black-Backs got too close to a Coot and was chased away.

I don't think a Coot would dare to attack the Greater Black-Back, but you never know with these aggressive birds.


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