Sunday 21 February 2016

There haven't been many Chaffinches around recently, so it was a pleasure to see one in the leaf yard. She is in very good condition, so far unaffected by the virus that attacks these birds' feet.

A Blue Tit stared at me challengingly, waiting to be fed.

The returfing of the Parade Ground had halted for Sunday, and there were at least a dozen Pied Wagtails running around on the bare earth and in the surviving long grass -- there are few insects for them in the newly laid turf.

One of them came down to the Dell restaurant terrace and started hunting under the feet of the diners, hoping for insects attracted by dropped food.

The usual Grey Heron was on a table, not in the least alarmed by people taking close-ups of him with their mobiles.

The Black Swan climbed on to one of the floating plant beds. He has made a private place for himself where no Mute Swan can trespass. He ripped up some grass to make it more comfortable.

Just as Coots can't stop piling twigs on their nests, swan of both species can't help tearing up grass to make a nest lining.

When the reed bed to the east of the Lido was laid, a Coot immediately built a nest in it. Then workment built a net around the new reeds to protect them from Coots, and made a little hollow in the net to avoid trapping the Coot inside. This hollow has been used by Coots ever since.

It was a vain precaution. The reeds weren't properly planted and most of them died. The surviving clumps are now spreading slowly to fill the gaps.

Out on the lake, a couple of young Herring Gulls were eyeing each other  suspiciously.

One of the Little Owls on Buck Hill came out of its hole briefly.

There was no sign of the owls near the leaf yard, or near the Albert Memorial. But on the second pair's oak tree there was a Treeceeper running briskly up the trunk and flying down to begin again.


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