Tuesday 17 February 2015

There is a dead tree near the Speke obelisk which in previous years has had a Treecreepers' nest in it. Today a pair of Nuthatches were running all over it, and it looks as if they intend to nest there. In spite of its almost branchless state it is a big tree and there is room for both species here. One of the Nuthatches was displaying a typical disregard for gravity.

Not so this Common Gull on the Serpentine, which kept its head absolutely horizontal when banking, so as to keep a better lookout for anything worth grabbing on the ground.

A Cormorant was industriously fishing in the wire baskets near the bridge, but didn't get anything in the ten minutes for which I watched it. It looks as if they have finally exhausted the fish in this prolific hatchery. Cormorants have strange blue-green eyes, which are unusually flexible so that they can see as well below water as above it.

This Jackdaw picked me up near the second Little Owls' tree and followed me right around the Round Pond and down to the Long Water near Peter Pan. On the way it ate rather a lot of peanuts.

A Coal Tit also followed me for a couple of hundred yards, begging for pine nuts. They are particularly fond of these, because they often forage in coniferous trees and pick the seeds out of the cones.

The Song Thrush was again under the plane trees near the Tawny Owls' tree, busy looking for worms in the leafmould.

The male Tawny Owl was enjoying the warm sunshine.

This pure white Feral Pigeon is not an albino -- it has eyes of a completely normal brown colour, looking darker than they are in contrast with the white feathers.

White birds are at a slight disadvantage, because the black pigment in feathers makes them stronger and longer lasting. But an albino would be at a much greater disadvantage because the lack of pigment in its eyes would prevent it from seeing properly. Albino birds don't last long in the wild.

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