Thursday 28 November 2013

The Little Grebe is now often in the reed beds under the parapet of the Italian Garden.

Sometimes you can't see it, but a semicircle of small ripples spreading out from the edge into the open water shows that it is rooting about in the reed stems. As well as the usual small invertebrates that make up much of a Little Grebe's diet, there are also fish of just the right size for this small bird.

Although all this year's young Great Crested Grebes are now quite capable of looking after themselves, they still sometimes beg for food from their parents, and sometimes their parents are indulgent enough to give them a fish.

This one had been fishing quite successfully in one of the wire baskets near the bridge when its mother turned up, and immediately stopped work and started calling to be fed. Teenagers are much the same in many species.

The Tawny Owls were in their usual place in the beech tree. Today the male sleepily opened one eye to look at me, then realised that it was just the usual daily intrusion on his privacy and went back to sleep.

A Song Thrush was waiting in the holly tree for his turn to harvest the berry-laden yew bush between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden.

We know he's a male thrush because he has been singing in a desultory fashion for the past few days. He will not be here for long, as the berries are running out.

In the shallow water at Peter Pan, a couple of very ordinary Feral Pigeons were sitting in the water.

They were shaking themselves gently from time to time, but not bothering to have a proper wash. Evidently this leisurely bath was helping in some way to control the feather mites.


  1. In this latest photo your Little Grebe really does look 'cute' and 'fluffy'!

    1. They are really, really fluffy. Two-thirds of its body above the waterline is fluff. The feathers can be clamped down for diving, and suddenly this round bird becomes slim and streamlined.