Saturday 30 April 2016

Another Willow Warbler was singing in a tree north of the Henry Moore sculpture.

The one on the other side of the bridge is still there, but didn't come out of the bushes.

Also near the sculpture. a Great Spotted Woodpecker was hammering so loudly that you could hear him from hundreds of yards away.

And the Little Owl was in his usual place in the lime tree, the only one of our Little Owls to appear today.

A Wren was darting around in the undergrowth on the other side of the lake, near the broken horse chestnut tree.

The Mute Swans nesting near the bridge were preparing to take a cruise together, and the female was covering up her eggs. She does this with great skill, so that the nest still looks occupied, with a depression in the middle, but apparently empty.

The shop at Bluebird Boats is now selling duck food, a very healthy thing to save the waterfowl from a diet of white bread, and the birds are taking to it. I thought they were so spoilt that it wouldn't work. The new food went down a treat with the Black Swan and his girlfriend.

Just up the shore, the Egyptian Geese had wandered away from their sole surviving gosling. It has done very well to survive for so long on the gull-infested lake.

The notorious Lesser Black-Backed Gull had brought down another pigeon, which was still alive and struggling feebly. He called to his mate to come and share the meal.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were building a nest on the outside of the netting around the reeds near the Diana fountain.

There has been an abandoned Coots' nest there, which they mostly dismantled before starting their own sloppy nest. They could easily go over the collapsed net into the reeds and build a much stronger and safer nest, but they have an instinct for building on the edge of things.

Under the willow tree near the bridge, a Coot was trying to build a nest in a fantastically unsuitable site on a tree stump.

There is also a Coots' nest in the traditional, and usually very successful, place in the water plants in the Italian Garden.


  1. The pigeon-eating Lesser Black Back looks positively scary. He resembles a Great Black Back in its menacing appearance. Poor pigeon.

    I'm almost willing to bet that the Coot may actually succeed (at least, success as understood by a Coot) in building a nest in such a place. They've done worse.

    We've watched both of your and Johanna's videos a few times now. It's lovely to be able to put a voice to your writing, and movement to your lovely pictures.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I think all Lesser Black-Backs and Herring Gulls look menacing to a human. It's those pale yellow-green eyes. Common and Black-Headed Gulls are just as ruthless, only restricted by their smaller size. But their brown eyes make them look sweet and mischievous.

    2. Do you think the gulls should be controlled ie culled to protect the other birds and their young?

    3. Odd as it may seem, they're protected.