Friday 3 January 2014

A day of alternate sunshine and violent downpours. This Great Crested Grebe happily went on fishing as the rain pelted down at the height of a thunderstorm.

Some areas are flooded, and the floods are not just welcome to water birds. Here a Feral Pigeon is taking the opportunity to have a bath.

The gulls were enjoying the strong wind. I think this young one is a Herring Gull, as its inner primaries are paler than its outer ones. If it were a Lesser Black-Back its primaries would be the same colour all along. But these gulls are terribly hard to tell apart in their first year, especially from below.

An adult Herring Gull rises dripping water after an unsuccessful dive for a crayfish.

There was a Black-Headed Gull with a plastic ring from the Netherlands: white on black, EAJ0. I photographed it by accident when it flew past the camera as I was trying to take a picture of something else.

I went looking for the Jackdaws and couldn't find them.

And that's about all on a very unexciting day. The rowan trees on Buck Hill have been completely stripped of berries and the birds have deserted them, and there is nothing on the lake or in the shrubberies that you wouldn't expect at this time of year.

Even the reliable male Tawny Owl was difficult today. He was out on his balcony in the morning but was annoyed by a Jay and went into the tree through the hole at the back of the balcony. He didn't emerge again until just before sunset. With all that rain, there wasn't much incentive for him to come out earlier.

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