Sunday 22 December 2013

The restoration of the turf around the Henry Moore arch has brought back not just the rabbits, but also the pair of Egyptian Geese who have occupied this area for years.

This is the first pair to have arrived in the park, also notorious for their complete lack of parenting skills. Every year they have bred more than once -- in one year, three times -- and have lost their young to predators within a couple of days by letting them wander off. Obviously most Egyptian Geese are not as negligent as this, or their numbers would not be increasing so fast.

The rowan trees on Buck Hill were being visited by at last six Mistle Thrushes, and I finally got the picture I had been waiting for, of a bird out at the front of the tree with a berry in its beak.

A Carrion Crow was feeding in the next tree.

And of course there were constant incursions of Starlings, which will continue till the tree is bare.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual place, though in the early afternoon he disappeared, I hope to attend to his mate inside the tree.

The 'balcony' where he sits is like a little theatre box, formed by a branch breaking off the trunk. There is a hole at the back communicating with the hollow inside the trunk. From here the owls can climb to wherever their nest is, and also up to the broken top of the trunk. The climb may be steep, but owls are excellent climbers thanks to their long razor-sharp talons.

A Grey Heron at Peter Pan was sizing me up as a possible source of food.

People often throw them all kinds of things, which they devour without hesitation. The only thing I have ever seen a heron refuse is a whole peanut in the shell.


  1. I've come across an immature heron in the park happy to be thrown bread. Do they not get indigestion being a carnivore, or are birds' guts more versatile than some other animals'? Jim, north London.

    1. I think they'd take other things in preference to bread if there was a choice. But essentially they'll take anything they can get.

  2. PS. You take many many charming pictures, and those above of the 'geese' and heron are, in different ways, really something! Jim