Friday 1 May 2015

The Coots nesting on the fountain in the Italian Garden are hanging on grimly, although they are under a continuous heavy shower and bits of their nest keep getting washed away. Here the male brings his mate a horse chestnut flower ...

... but is attacked by a Mallard drake, which was there with its mate and therefore more aggressive than usual.

I fear that this nesting attempt will fail, as it will be impossible to keep the eggs warm enough.

The Grey Heron at the Dell restaurant was ranging up and down the terrace looking for food on the waterside tables. The occupant of this one was sensibly holding his plate of burger and chips well away from the edge, leaving the ravenous bird with a choice of tea or Coca-Cola. After several minutes it gave up and moved on.

Here is an unusual view of a Mute Swan in the middle of a washing session.

The Hobby -- I have still seen only one -- was in a plane tree, but flew out while I was still some distance away, circled and headed off.

In the newly planted wildflower bed behind the Lido bathing area, a female Blackbird was doing a useful job keeping down insects among the seedlings.

One of the Jackdaws behind the Albert Memorial gave me a penetrating glance.

You can see why they are so sensitive to being stared at themselves, though these birds will now come close and allow themselves to be photographed in exchange for peanuts.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual spot earlier, but by the time I arrived he had moved to another one that was completely invisible from the ground. There was a Jay screeching at him, which was probably why he had found a more sheltered perch.

The male Little Owl was out on his nest tree. At the moment he doesn't seem to be bothered by Jays, although there are plenty of them around the nearby leaf yard.


  1. I made a unsuccessful attempt to find the Little Owl today. While I was trying to see him, I was besieged by a a continuous stream of Great and Blue Tits and even a Chaffinch, all of which flew right in front of my face demanding food. Next time I will have to bring some!

    1. You must have been in roughly the right place. The small birds around here associate people with being fed, and can be very insistent. See the comments for Thursday 30 April for instructions on finding the tree.

  2. The capsized Anatidae are as charming as any of your pics, more please! Jim n.L.

    1. Yes, the upturned swan was a surprise and a delight!

    2. Geese do that all the time. But a swan was a bit of a surprise.