Monday 29 December 2014

On a frosty morning the male Tawny Owl was fluffed up to the maximum against the chilly breeze blowing past his exposed position in the nest tree.

The ponds in the Italian Garden had partly frozen, and a first-year Black-Headed Gull was experiencing ice for the first time.

One of the seven young Mute Swans was on the same pond.

It had taken refuge there because its father was charging around the Long Water chasing his offspring away. He has definitely decided that it is chucking-out time, a most unwelcome surprise for these pampered young birds.

There was a very confused Black-Headed Gull in full summer breeding plumage on the Serpentine.

At the east end of the lake there was a brief glimpse of the young Grey Wagtail, which I have not seen for some time.

The place is thronged with people going to the funfair, and I only got time for one hasty picture before it sped away to somewhere quieter.

A single Redwing was under the rowan tree on Buck Hill, still finding a few fallen berries that were not completely rotten.

A chattering noise from across the road showed that it had companions in a tree.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits was moving along the path at the top of the hill, joined by a few Blue Tits.

A small tree behind the Rima relief is constantly full of Wood Pigeons flapping heavily about, clinging to twigs and occasionally losing their hold and falling out.

The attraction seems to be ivy berries. The birds have finished the earlier and more palatable fruit.


  1. I'm keeping some of my ivy long and uncut, so maybe it will provide some food for the garden birds. I like to have a mix available for them of naturally occurring seedheads and grubs (I never use insecticide) and the seed in the feeders hanging from a Stags Horn Sumach. We're putting a couple of fat balls on the lawn too for ground feeders. Hope we don't encourage rodents by doing that! The long-tailed tits are extraordinarily charming - but we don't get any - just blue and great tits, though of course they are very lovely in their own right.

    1. I wonder what's necessary for Long-Tailed Tits. A continuous line of trees, maybe. I've often seen them working their way up tree-lined streets, with no natural landscape other than that.

    2. I must live in hope. We usually do well for greenfinches and (my favourites) one must count one's birding blessings. :)

  2. I was in the gardens yesterday and noticed the young swan in one of the italian garden ponds. I thought it must be one of the seven from the long water but I counted the seven youngsters all of which were being chased away by their father. This swan also seems younger, showing a little more grey than the long water swans.
    Do you think it can get out of the little pond?

    1. Interesting, and I'm sure you're right. But don't worry about it getting out. We've had this situation before. As long as there is a duckboard in the pond, a swan will stroll out whenever it likes, and somehow get back to the main lake.