Wednesday 16 November 2016

A Goldcrest was calling in the yew tree at the southwest corner of the leaf yard. I think there's a pair here.

They particularly favour yews, which provide good cover from both the weather and predators.

The usual pair of Nuthatches were flying down to be fed ...

... and so was one of the Coal Tits.

A Carrion Crow had come to feed in the rowan trees on Buck Hill.

The Blackbirds didn't seem to be alarmed by this large visitor, and went on eating fruit.

A Jay was holding firmly on to the loose bark of a plane tree before flying out to grab a peanut from my fingers.

A young Herring Gull was tightrope walking along the line of buoys at the Lido. It can keep its balance as long as it holds out its wings and keeps going. If it stops, the buoy tilts over and there is an undignified scramble to stay on.

When Shovellers are shovelling, Black-Headed Gulls often hang around to see if they turn up anything edible.

The Black-Headed Gull from Denmark I photographed yesterday, although only 18 months old, is a well travelled bird. It has been seen at Laihalampi, a lake near Mikkeli in southern Finland.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes fishing near the island had not seen each other for at least ten minutes, so when they met again between two moored boats it was time for the greeting ceremony.

A female Tufted Duck looked at them. Ducks don't get that kind of courtesy from drakes.

A young grebe near the Dell restaurant stared curiously at the camera.

Most of the park birds are so used to people that they are not alarmed by being looked at and photographed. They just stare back at you, like this Robin in a bramble patch.

A Jackdaw has a very penetrating gaze with its beautiful silvery eyes.

But nothing can beat an owl at staring. This is the male Little Owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial.


  1. I love all the bird stares!
    I was in St James's Park this morning and came came across a Herring Gull (not a Lesser Black-Backed) eating the remains of a pigeon. The practice seems to be spreading!

    1. There's a Lesser Black-Back in St James's Park that hunts pigeons near the bridge. I have never seen it myself, and am not absolutely sure that it isn't our original pigeon killer on an expedition. Perhaps the Herring Gull was scavenging its leavings. So far I haven't seen a Herring Gull hunting pigeons, though presumably they will pick up the habit soon.

  2. Wonderful collection of staring birds! Difficult to pick one's favourite today.

    Why would that Herring Gull be so bent on learning how to tightrope walk? Is it for play, or is it practicing its well-loved game of "knock yourself out (of the post)"?

    1. I think there must be an element of pure play in their tightrope walking. There were some Black-Headed Gulls farther up the line and it was scaring them away, so that may have been part of the fun.