Saturday 28 December 2013

On a sunny day, when there are people eating outside at the Lido restaurant, birds are keen to take their share. Here is one of the Starlings that spend most of their time in the plane trees around the small boathouses and nest there in spring. They fly across the lake, raid a table and return to their trees. This one has only got a piece of bread -- their favourite food seems to be chips.

This Black-Headed Gull has done better, and has won a piece of ginger cake.

The Herring Gull had taken what I thought was a biscuit, and so did the gull. But when it started to peck at it, the morsel proved completely impenetrable and the bird abandoned it and flew away to find something better.

I inspected it too and it seemed to be an odd-shaped bit of plastic, but its identity remains a mystery.

A Blackbird near the bridge was happy with more conventional fare, and ate rather a lot of yellow berries.

When I arrived at the bridge there were three very serious wildlife photographers with big cameras and long lenses taking pictures of Cormorants fishing over the wire baskets. I said hello to them and went round the lake. When I returned to the same spot almost two hours later they were still at it. I admire their dedication and am sure they got some wonderful shots, and certainly it is an excellent place that allows you to get far closer to Cormorants than you would normally. But I don't have the time or the patience for such perfectionism.

The reliable male Tawny Owl was in his usual place in the nest tree, where even the most casual amateur photographer can get a pleasing picture of him.


  1. Hi Ralph,

    Any recent news on the Little Owls? We looked again yesterday but drew a blank as usual. We have only had one short view in 20 odd attempts.



  2. I saw both of them on Boxing Day, about half an hour after sunset, black shapes against the still bright western sky, but unmistakably them. Then first one (the timid female?) flew off, followed by the other bird.

  3. It always makes my day to read your blog, many thanks Ralph

  4. The Little Owls are best viewed at dawn and dusk, when they go hunting. We've been spoilt by easy views of them during a warm autumn when they have come out to sunbathe.