Tuesday 8 January 2013

The illusion of spring continues, with Song Thrushes singing in several parts of the park, and at least three woodpeckers drumming near the leaf yard. One of them, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, came into sight for a few seconds.

A particularly loud drumming from the direction of the Tawny Owls' nest tree would have been the Green Woodpecker that is often in that area -- see picture in my blog post for Tuesday 3 January.

The iambic song of a Coal Tit could be heard right across the Long Water -- remarkably loud for a bird that only weighs 8 grams.

The female owl is still visible on her usual balcony. Sorry to keep publishing what is practically the same picture, but she is irresistible.

Her mate was also in his customary place higher in the tree.

The Great Crested Grebes' nest in the reeds at the Serpentine outflow is still a going concern. They again chased away their four-month-old offspring from last year, but while they were away it returned to the area and caught a fish. This very distant photograph is included not because it is a good picture, but because it is the first time I have seen this young bird catch a substantial fish by itself. Previously I have only seen it poking along the edges of the lake looking for small creatures lurking under the concrete rim.

Another pair of grebes is now investigating the willow tree near the bridge for a nest site. Part of the tree collapsed into the water last year, so there is now an excellent choice of places to build. However, the weather is expected to get cold again by the end of the week, so all this springtime excitement is due for a setback.

The male Tufted Ducks are looking their best at this time of year, having grown their pure white sides and splendidly jaunty tufts. Their slightly upturned bills give them a smiling look. In fact, they are the archetype of the toy bath duck.


  1. Hi Ralph, some news on the colour-ringed Common Gull (Helgoland 5347344 - Red A35E). It was banded at Bremen / Uberseehafen (Germany) on 26/06/2010 and has subsequently wintered at HP / KG, returning to Uberseehafen for breeding season.

    Speak soon.

  2. Many thanks for the interesting information. Will put this in today's blog post.