Thursday 13 November 2014

A Goldcrest was hopping about in the yew bush between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden, and appeared near the front for just long enough to be photographed.

Goldcrests are not much worried by people or cameras, but they prefer the inside of bushes where the insects are.

The usual Blackbirds and Mistle Thrushes, Carrion Crows and Ring-Necked Parakeets were visiting the rowan trees on Buck Hill. It is remarkable that there are any berries left, especially as the parakeets, which are messy feeders, drop more than they eat. Here is a male Blackbird at work. He is a first-year bird and his beak has not yet turned yellow.

The Diana fountain is still being repaired, and the enclosure is full of Egyptian Geese, constantly flying in and out. The most I have counted here is 39.

High over the Bayswater Road, a Sparrowhawk and a Carrion Crow were having a dogfight. At least I think it is a male Sparrowhawk, smaller than the female; if it were a Kestrel holding its wings at this angle they would look more pointed.

A mixed mob of Herring Gulls, Carrion Crows, Feral Pigeons and a Magpie were rooting around in the grass on the Parade Ground, ignoring the noise and traffic of the funfair under construction.

It seems odd that mutually antagonistic birds should gather in a flock when presumably all the grass has worms and insects in it. I suppose that when a bird sees another of any species foraging successfully, it flies to that spot to see what it can get.

The female Tawny Owl was on her usual branch in the beech tree. For a change, the Jays and Magpies were leaving her alone, but she woke up briefly at the sound of me blundering around underneath.

The male Little Owl was on his favourite branch in the pair's nest tree.

As the evening light faded, the solitary Little Grebe made its way along the reed bed near the Diana fountain, looking for small fish and invertebrates among the stems.

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