Wednesday 11 May 2016

Three smallish birds were chasing each other around the Long Water. They turned out to be Common Sandpipers.

They settled on the gravel bank at the Vista, which was built at the beginning of 2015 to attract wading birds. But this is the first time I've seen one there.

There was a new family of Egyptian Geese on the grass above the bank.

The parents are not the hopelessly incompetent couple who are usually seen here, so the young have a fair chance of survival.

Both families of Egyptians on the Round Pond are still in good shape. This is one of the elder brood of four, going through that patchy phase when it is beginning to grow adult plumage.

The Little Grebe was still on the Round Pond but remained obstinately in the middle, too far away for a reasonable photograph. So here is one of the two Great Crested Grebes that arrived here a short time ago.

Another Coot has built a nest in a silly place on one of the corners of the granite kerb. What is important to a Coot is not an appropriate site, but the right floral  decoration.

Also on the pond, a Pied Wagtail perched on the solar panel to preen. It paused for a moment, still fluffed up.

The male Little Owl on the chestnut tree was sitting out in the rain. A Magpie came to torment him.

He stood up to this, but when a Carrion Crow joined in he flew down to a perch over his nest hole, looking wet and cross.

The shelter on Buck Hill has eight corners, and there are Starlings' nests in seven of them. The grass around is frantically busy with parents collecting grubs.

The Black Swan was with his girlfriend near the Lido restaurant, although the dismal weather had kept people from coming to feed them. I gave them some digestive biscuits to cheer them up.


  1. You have so many expressive moments captured in the photos today, that it seems unfair to single one out, but the Coot decorating the unsuitable nest with a flower makes me smile and shake my head in wonder at the same time. Maybe to a Coot it is just another stem for the nest, but it sure looks like a decoration to me.

    1. Coots really do decorate their nests with flowers, but what attracts them is the bright colour. They are just as likely to choose a packet of potato crisps if it's the right colour. Red and reflective metallic things are their favourites. Years ago, before I started the blog, I threw some pink horse chestnut blossom into the water near a Coot's nest, and the Coot collected it all and surrounded its mate with flowers.

  2. I love all of these photos but yes, the Coot with interior design aspirations made me smile too

  3. Another vote for the Coot! They are so endearing.