Monday 18 May 2015

 The Pied Wagtails at the Round Pond were out hunting with their new fledgelings, which are beginning to be able to find things for themselves but are fed occasionally. Here is one of the young ones in its smudgy grey juvenile plumage.

The pond was crowded with Swifts, as usually happens when it rains. These birds, which spend their entire adult life in the air except when nesting, can catch raindrops to drink. When it isn't raining they skim the surface of the water scooping it up with their beaks.

There were also a few House Martins, not as fast as the Swifts but capable of making dramatically tight turns as they hunt for insects.

And there were a few Swallows, but I didn't get a picture of one.

There are always insects over the pond whether or not it is raining.
 Evidently the Swifts, Swallows and House Martins come here when the rain makes it impossible to catch insects in some more favoured place.

The year-old Grey Wagtail was also after insects, standing on the posts on the Long Water reed bed near the bridge and leaping off to catch its prey.

Sorry about these rather blurred pictures taken in bad light, but it seemed more interesting to have action shots than pictures of birds standing around.

There are five young Starlings in the nest in the plane tree near the small boathouse. Their wings are grown and they will be out soon, chasing their parents around the Lido restaurant begging for food just as loudly as they are now in the nest.

The Song Thrushes near the southwest corner of the bridge have a nest somewhere in the bushes, and the male has been singing here for weeks. Here he is scolding a Mapgpie that has come too near his nest.

The female Little Owl was sheltering from the rain and wind in her nest hole.

A brief sunny interval lit the Canada gosling, exploring the edge of the lake under the vigilant eye of its parents. When you are only a few days old everything is new and interesting, even a stick.


  1. Beautiful shot of the starlings in their nest.

    I checked yesterday and the swans' nest on the slipway in Henley on Thames is still occupied, safe behind its orange plastic fencing! I do hope it succeeds, though the road is very close behind it so far from ideal for wandering cygnets.

    1. Good news. As you know, the swan scene here is very sad.

  2. difficult to get most Birds in Flight so must have been quite a challenge to capture Swifts and house martins, well done... bet you had loads of misses though ?

    1. I just take hundreds of pictures and use the one that's least bad.