Tuesday 1 July 2014

The rowan berries are ripening early, and the trees on Buck Hill are already attracting birds. Here are a female Blackbird ...

... and a young Mistle Thrush enjoying the fruit.

There were half a dozen Mistle Thrushes, possibly a single family.

The Reed Warblers in the reed bed near the Diana fountain were very active, flying in and out of the reeds where their nest is. I was lucky enough to get a shot of the male singing.

A female Mallard is nesting in one of the small boathouses, on a beam over the door on the water side.

She is not actually sitting on eggs yet but is clearly feeling broody, as she was constantly shuffling and turning around in one spot, perhaps clearing out debris so it is a comfortable place to sit. This boathouse has already produced several broods of Coots, and they are nesting again after having lost their chicks; and a Feral Pigeon's nest has also produced young, though they were in the shadows under the rafters and you couldn't see what was happening.

The Coots' nest at Peter Pan was a scene of considerable activity, with birds rushing up and down the tall structure.

They seem to be building a patio.

Another pond in the Italian Garden now has fish in it, medium-sized perch.

It is a mystery how the fish get from one pond to the other, let alone how they arrived in the first place. The water circulation in these ponds is a closed system, and the water passes through pumps and refrigeration coils which no fish could survive. Human intervention is suspected.

Rumours of the death of the Moorhen chicks in the Italian Garden are exaggerated: two are still alive. But their parents are building a second nest in another pond.

This has happened before here, with two broods of different ages living side by side. The elder chicks helped to look after the younger ones, a pleasing sight.

The picture I took of them was uninteresting, so here is a more dramatic Moorhen picture. The little stream in the Dell is full of large carp, which were churning around in the shallow water. A Moorhen swam over the heaving mass of fish and was alarmed by them, and swam hastily away.

No one could find the Tawny Owls, but the Little Owl was in his usual place, looking as splendid as ever.


  1. Wonderful photo of the Little Owl. Love the red berries in the Mistle Thrush photo. Lovely to see these young birds.

    1. Thanks. The park is a particularly lovely place at the moment, with young birds of all kinds blundering experimentally around.