Thursday 1 January 2015

A very happy New Year to all readers.

It would not be a proper New Year without a glimpse of the male Tawny Owl, who came out to his usual place around 2 pm, when the light was beginning to fail on a dark grey day.

Apart from that there was nothing unusual to see, and the light was so dim that it was only possible to photograph birds out in the open.

The Cormorant with the brightly coloured face which I photographed in the water yesterday came out on to a post, revealing that it was in full breeding plumage, as shown by the white patches on the thighs. All the other Cormorants on the lake today are still in their ordinary dull winter plumage.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes across the lake from Peter Pan are not only in full breeding plumage but displaying to each other. Naturally I hoped they would do their dance, but after a couple of minutes of the preliminary display they lost interest and swam off side by side. If they are going to dance they swim off in opposite directions before diving and collecting a bit of weed to wave.

A Grey Heron was preening on the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water, a common sight but an elegant one.

The two hundred or so Starlings that scavenge food from the funfair always operate in a flock. They gather in a tall plane tree overlooking the enclosure, fly in together, grab what they can get and return to their tree.

I went to the Round Pond to check on the Egyptian Geese. There have been no further casualties. Here are four of the six young ones.

A Pied Wagtail was investigating the grooves in the wooden platform in the pond.

Anything with fissures in it may harbour insects. I saw a Grey Wagtail working over the grooved wooden deck of the electric boat moored at the island, but it was too far away for a picture.

For several days a Wren has often been visible in the Flower Walk, at the place where the path from Queen's Gate crosses it.

Apparently this place has a name, 'Snobs' Crossing', but no one uses these old names any more, if they ever did.


  1. Happy New Year, Ralph and all other readers of this fine blog.
    Here's to another fascinating year with our fine feathered friends. Sue.

  2. Some delightful shots today Ralph. Have you ever seen or heard a Cetti's Warbler? They are pretty little things judging by the photos on Google images.

  3. Great picture of the Cormorant. They look splendid in their breeding plumage

  4. Thank you all. A Cetti's Warbler has been seen in the park, but I only know this from the long-term record in the right column, and don't know whosaw it or when.

  5. Ralph, lovely you got a photo of the wren there. I saw it at the same place when I was last in London, but no photo. Lovely you got it, in winter no less. This wren looks so very much like our Bewick's Wren here in California (but half-sized and shorter tail) that I'm a bit predisposed towards favoring it. Lovely photos.

    1. Wrens are easier to see in winter, because there is less undergrowth. I saw three in different places that day. In fact an alternative name for our spcies is 'Winter Wren', though of course they are here all year round.