Monday 15 December 2014

This dramatic picture by Ahmet Amerikali captures a Jay as it takes a peanut from my hand.

The bird's wings and tail are spread to provide the maximum area so that it can float down as slowly as possible, on the brink of stalling but still under perfect control for this precise manoeuvre. They seldom miss.

The Ring-Necked Parakeets also come down for peanuts, but they are less elegant flyers and have to perch for a moment to take the nut. Here one tries to steal another's prize.

The young Grey Wagtail was flying all over the Serpentine. First I saw it on the roof of one of the small boathouses.

Then it was washing itself on the shore by the Lido ...

... after which it dried itself on the railings.

After yesterday's picture of a Black-Headed Gull enjoying a paddle in fast-flowing water, here is one of a Herring Gull doing exactly the same in the shallows of the Diana fountain.

The Tawny Owl spent the day in his usual place on top of the nest tree.

Some Magpies arrived and yelled at him, but he didn't even bother to open his eyes.

As the sun set, a Carrion Crow admired its reflection in a puddle on the Parade Ground.

Crows and various gulls are profiting from the snacks dropped by visitors to the funfair, and there is always a good crowd of them waiting around the enclosure.


  1. A real feast for the senses today. I was lucky enough to see the same wagtail by the streams at Mottisfont in Hampshire. The streak of yellow is lovely. Not too much happening in the garden. Wood pigeons and collared doves shoveling seed, surrounded by a beautiful gaggle of sparrows (properly known collectively as a "host, quarrel, knot" I understand.

    1. How I wish our Sparrows would come back.

    2. Ours have been scarce in the past. But this year there are masses of them, and it is a delight to welcome them back into the garden (I am in the Thames Valley). The finches (green and gold) are hardly getting a look in on the bird-feeders!

  2. and how I agree with your wishes for sparrows!

  3. What an array of gorgeous photos Ralph. The Jay with yourself, the 3 photos of the Grey Wagtail and finally the reflection in the puddle at sunset. They all brightened my day and made me more determined to get out and see the birds. Congratulations on all of them.