Tuesday 10 December 2013

A Great Spotted Woodpecker appeared in a tree near the southwest corner of the bridge, the first one I have seen in this area.

In spite of their bright colours they are less noticeable than Green Woodpeckers, which have a louder call and are often seen on the ground.

On the other side of the bridge the two pairs of Great Crested Grebes continued their dispute over the ownership of the fishing ground, and circled around in their low threat posture, sometimes diving.

You can tell when a grebe feels that it has ventured too far over the invisible frontier that separates territories, because it will surface father back than the place where it dived. The opposing bird, more sure of its claim, will dive and advance. Actually both these pairs fish around the richly stocked wire basket that is the cause of the strife. They just wait until the others have gone away. But a fight helps to pass the time now that their young are grown up.

The Coal Tit in the leaf yard follows people who feed it, taking nut after nut and hiding them in cracks in trees. Here it is looking expectant, waiting for the larger birds to get out of the way so that it can dart in and take another nut. Even a Blue Tit is large enough to alarm this tiny bird.

Both the Tawny Owls were plainly visible in their nest tree. The male was in his favourite place in the broken top of the trunk.

And the female was round the side on her balcony, where I photographed her yesterday.

Moorhens really enjoy evicting Black-Headed Gulls from their perches. Here, on the balustrade at the east end of the lake, one chases away three in a row.

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