Wednesday 22 January 2014

The Grey Herons' enthusiasm for building shows no sign of abating. Today there were birds simultaneously adding to three of the nests, including this couple which were alternately bringing in twigs and displaying gawkily at each other.

They will need a sustained period of fairly mild weather to carry this enterprise through. With all this springlike activity going on, it's easy to forget that we aren't out of January yet.

As another sign of the changing seasons, here is a Black-Headed Gull on the edge of the Serpentine that has developed an almost completely dark head ready for the breeding season.

Many of them will fly off to breed in Holland, Germany, Poland, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, as we know from the rings that some of them carry. Others will stay here and breed near rubbish tips, which offer rich pickings to birds that are not fussy eaters.

Two Jackdaws were in a tree near the Speke obelisk, probing the bark for bugs.

If you throw a piece of digestive biscuit on the ground, they immediately whizz down, grab it in an instant, and rocket up to the branch again. They are even quicker than Jays -- and quite unlike Carrion Crows, which land nearby, stroll up to the food, and eat it in a leisurely fashion on the ground.

The giant mud patch where the funfair was is completely empty at last, and of course completely fenced off. A walk around it only found the same dozen Pied Wagtails as yesterday, and the local small flock of Starlings, which fly to and from the lakeside trees near the Dell restaurant.

The male Tawny Owl was asleep on his usual balcony.

His mate came out briefly this morning to stretch her wings before returning to the nest tree.

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