Monday 28 November 2016

When photographing Nuthatches in the leaf yard, bribery is the key to success.

A Coal Tit was also tempted out by the food.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet climbed carefully down the cord supporting a fat ball.

It took a few bites but didn't like it much. A few Long-Tailed Tits were hanging around hungrily, but they are not used to feeders and didn't dare to come out.

The Starlings which used to arrive when you fed the small birds have been crowded out by the mobs of parakeets, and only a few come to the leaf yard now.

A Song Thrush was eating the fruit in the rowan tree on Buck Hill.

There were also the usual Mistle Thrushes ...

... and Blackbirds.

When you stand here for any length of time, invariably Charlie and Melissa the Carrion Crows turn up and stare at you till you give them peanuts. This is Melissa, looking splendidly shiny in the low sunlight.

Several Cormorants were again fishing over the wire baskets of twigs near the bridge, but not catching much. It seems that they have finally run the lake's fish stock down to the point of diminishing returns and will go back to the river soon.

The Great Crested Grebe on the right is already back in breeding plumage, while its mate is still in plain winter dress.

The young Grey Heron at the Dell restaurant was sunbathing with half-spread wings, and then started preening. Evidently the warmth of the sun brings parasites to the surface of its feathers where they can be picked off.

A young Herring Gull was carrying a stick to some height before dropping it in the water and diving after it. This is the second stage of the stick game. The third stage is the full drop-catch, where the stick is dropped from a height and the gull dives headlong to catch it before it hits the water. It takes a while to learn this skill.


  1. I am very envious I have been to the leaf yard about 15 times this year without seeing the nuthatches once.

    1. Try feeding the small birds at the southwest corner of the leaf yard. After a few minutes the Nuthatches should notice and turn up. You can put food on the railings to get them to come out.