Sunday 15 December 2013

Today's star visitor to the berry-laden rowan trees on Buck Hill was a male Chaffinch.

He is a seed-eating bird and is not interested in the pulpy outside of the berries which delight Mistle Thrushes and Starlings. You can see bits of berry stuck to his beak after he has been excavating the seeds.

A large flock of Ring-Necked Parakeets were having a Sunday meeting in a birch tree near the leaf yard, making a terrible racket.

One of the two pairs of Great Crested Grebes waging their endless struggle at the bridge had a moment when their opponents had got bored and gone away. They passed the time by playing a game based on their territorial display, diving and circling under water and surfacing for a head-shaking display. You could see that they were enjoying it and happy with each other. For a bird, love and war are two sides of the same thing.

The female Tawny Owl was in the same place as she has been for several days, the balcony on the side of the nest tree. This picture was taken in heavy rain, which she didn't seem to mind.

The male has not been visible for some time. I think he is probably in a nearby tree and we just haven't spotted him yet.

Yesterday when I was photographing the Coot trying to eat the crayfish, Wendy Marks, who runs the splendid blog Wino Wendy's Wildlife World, was below the bridge shooting the same thing. She stayed longer than I did, and was rewarded with the spectacle of a Lesser Black-Backed Gull having greater success. Here are her fine pictures:

It's hard to imagine how the bird managed to swallow the creature claws first.

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