Saturday 14 December 2013

The rowan berries in the trees on Buck Hill are noticeably fewer now that two hundred Starlings have started on them. But there are still more than enough for a Blue Tit ...

... and a Ring-Necked Parakeet ...

... while a Mistle Thrush was taking a rest from feeding, perched on a bare branch.

It was making a regular high-pitched squeak which I think was an alarm call in response to my taking pictures of it.

The female Tawny Owl was in her usual place in the nest tree, though there was no sign of her mate.

As she often does when I arrive, she opened her eyes wide and gave me an imperious stare before deciding that I was not dangerous and going back to sleep.

The male Little Owl was out early while the sun was shining, but by the time I had got to his tree the sky had clouded over and he had retreated.

The Great Crested Grebes were continuing their long altercation at the bridge. One pair has now settled into a routine: one threatens while the other goes fishing around the wire basket. It worked nicely, and each of them caught a couple of fish when it was his or her turn. These perfectly equal couples share everything: sitting on eggs, carrying and feeding chicks -- one carries, the other feeds -- and fighting. It is all made worth while by frequent displays of affectionate head-shaking and cackling.

While the grebes were busy, at the same basket a Coot had brought up a fairly large Turkish crayfish and was trying to work out how to eat it.

After a good deal of pecking and picking up and dropping, it abandoned the attempt and swam away.


  1. hi ralph. it's all go in buck hill isn't it? i hope they leave some berries for some potential waxwing visitors though i haven't heard much about there being many visitors yet. have you seen any in the park in recent years? thanks for your pics & report.
    Mark W2

  2. Yes, there were Waxwings here on 8 April this year. See this post. But they are not at all common in the park.

  3. hi ralph. thanks for the info. maybe i'll be lucky one time. that is on my usual beat.
    Mark W2