Tuesday 4 October 2016

Jays are beginning to reappear. They are seldom seen during the late summer when they are collecting and burying acorns and nuts to last them through the winter, but now they have done most of their work. This one had come down to drink in one of the little pools in front of the Rima relief.

There was a commotion of Magpies under the Little Owls' tree near the leaf yard. It turned out that someone had spilt some peanuts there, and the sharp-eyed birds were making the most of that.

This Carrion Crow at the back of the Albert Memorial also wanted a peanut, but had to wait while I took a picture of his glossy feathers shining in the sunlight.

This Coal Tit near the bridge had already got its peanut, and was holding it firmly against a twig to peck bits out of it.

The Nuthatches in the leaf yard were also coming down for nuts and seeds.

A Ring-Necked Parakeet preferred yew berries, and was neatly removing the stone from one.

There were a few Mistle Thrushes eating rowan berries on Buck Hill.

Two Starlings at the Lido restaurant were enjoying the remains of a bowl of lasagne.

A Moorhen was walking unconcernedly around the slippery edge of the marble fountain in the Italian Gardens, looking for tiny edible creatures in the algae.

For the Great Crested Grebe chicks, it was service as usual.

The male Tufted Ducks, which go into eclipse later than the other ducks, are now coming out of it and regrowing the smart white feathers on their sides.

The female Little Owl near the leaf yard was in the nest tree. This picture was taken after the Magpies had left. She would not have stayed out if there had been seven of these milling around.


  1. Hello Ralph,
    Could you please tell me where is the Little Owl located as detailed as possible please because I kept finding it everywhere, but still couldn't see it? Also, the Great Tit picture is great! Thanks Alex

    1. Start at the leaf yard, the fenced enclosure with the statue of Peter Pan on its east side. At the southeast corner of this enclosure there is an old battered chestnut tree. Look for the next one, a few yards away to the southwest. Then look for the one after that, at a slightly greater distance and up the hill a bit. It has brambles round its base. This is the Little Owls' nest tree, and the male owl's long-term favourite branch, when viewed from the north side, is at the top left corner of the tree. One or both of the Little Owls may also be high up inside another chestnut tree adjacent to this on the uphill side, and visible from the north or west side of this tree. This is where they nested in 2015.

    2. Thanks for your information!

  2. That picture of the Coal Tit daintily holding onto the seed is wonderful. Clever, deft little toes.Although the winners in this particular competition are the Starlings again!

    1. Their feet have a remarkably strong grip considering their size. Great Tits clamp your fingers so firmly that it hurts slightly.