Friday 4 December 2015

The fall of the leaves makes it easier to see Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the leaf yard. They are always several there, but they are nearly impossible to see in summer.

At the foot of the tree, one of the Coal Tits came out to be fed.

Once they lose their initial shyness, they come to your hand again and again, taking away the seeds and hiding them in cracks in the bark of trees. They will follow you for some distance.

The rowan trees on Buck Hill were visited by several Mistle Thrushes, a Carrion Crow, and this female Blackbird.

I haven't seen any more Redwings or Fieldfares here yet.

A Magpie was washing in the lake near the Diana fountain.

They have a peculiar method: a quick splash in the water, then out on to the fence or a branch and a vigorous shake and some preening, and then into the water again, and so on, several times.

It seems to work. They always look spick and span.

The injured Mute Swan is clearly feeling better, and was cruising around with his mate at Peter Pan. He is still swimming with one leg, but we know he can stand on the other leg if he needs to.

The Black Swan was on his own, preening at the Lido.

His girlfriend was over the other side of the lake, similarly engaged. I was told that earlier he had greeted her with his usual display and call, and she had taken no notice and gone away. Has she dumped him?

Two Mallard drakes were having a furious fight near Peter Pan.

There was also a blonde female Red-Crested Pochard.

She looks different from the slightly tatty one I photographed on 10 and 11 April this year, but that may just the result of moulting and growing smart new plumage.

Two Cormorants were fishing in the baskets near the bridge, and still catching a lot of small fish there.


  1. Drama as the Black Swan is unceremoniously dumped. That must have set his Flamenco frills all-aflutter.

  2. I was so looking forward to Black/Mute hybrid babies... Let's hope they patch things up.
    Is it possible that the female swan might have realized that he is a different species? I don't know that swans are very observant. I remember reading in a newspaper that a Mute Swan had apparently fallen in love with a swan-shaped paddle boat in a park in Germany. He would follow the boat up and down the pond.
    Magpies are always so elegant!

    1. I'm hoping so too. Swan are very moody creatures, and you can never tell what they will do.