Tuesday 6 January 2015

Inside the fence of the funfair, which is being laboriously and noisily dismantled, a Blue Tit was singing, just audible over the noise of the trucks. It was hanging upside down at the time, which didn't affect its voice.

This was the first Blue Tit I have heard singing this year, but the Great Tits started a few days ago. This one was in full song on the east side of the Long Water until I arrived, when he and his mate came down for a snack.

Two Coots on the Long Water were alarmed as a balloon drifted rapidly past them in the stiff breeze, and retreated to a safe distance.

That isn't always the reaction of Coots. A few years ago, in spring, I watched one trying to fix a shiny silver helium balloon to its nest as an ornament -- picture here.

Under the willow tree near the bridge, a female Mallard was minding her own business when she was suddenly showered with water.

It was a Moorhen washing itself impolitely near. She turned and pecked at it, and it fled.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull (note his distinctive deep yellow legs) was hanging around near the Dell restaurant as usual, and though there was disappointingly little action it gave me a stare. From the small amount you can see of its eyes in this position, you would think that its binocular vision was not too wonderful, but it must have some to be able to fly and land with superb accuracy and to peck at things.

The male Tawny Owl was not there when I passed his tree the first and second time, but the third time was luck, and there he was at 3.35. By then the sun had come out and there was still enough light for a reasonable picture.

Ten minutes later the rays of the setting sun picked out a Shoveller and a Pied Wagtail at the edge of the Round Pond.

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