Saturday 10 December 2016

The fallen fruit under the rowan trees on Buck Hill is now completely gone, so it is back to the diet of worms for the Mistle Thrushes ...

... and Blackbirds.

A Pied Wagtail was looking for insects in a disused flower bed in the Rose Garden, where a light cover of small weeds has grown over the bare earth.

We always see them in manmade habitats -- even in the street -- and they can't hunt easily in long grass or natural ground cover. I really don't know what kind of habitat they prefer in completely wild conditions.

The Robins are certainly making the most use they can of humans. Whenever you walk round the Long Water a dozen or more come out of the bushes and look around expecting to be fed.

Wrens, on the other hand, keep well away from people.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had just got a new victim, and was having the first go at it while his mate waited patiently alongside. He always allow her a good share, but likes to take the best bits before he lets her eat.

Gulls' feet are not adapted for perching on thin wire. This Black-Headed Gull teetered and flapped for a few seconds before it decided that the place was impossible and flew off.

The Grey Heron near the Italian Garden was having a good stretch.

The young one at the Dell restaurant was playing with a dead leaf.

In the water nearby, an immature male Shoveller was finding the leaves no obstacle to feeding.

A skein of Canada Geese flew up the Serpentine.

There was no sign of a Little Owl in the tree near the Albert Memorial until after 3 pm, when the male came out to have a look around. By this time the light was so dim that he was almost invisible.


  1. re Pied Wagtails: in the wild, I think I've mostly seen them on the shores of small rivers and brooks, flat ground anyway. Or was that Grey Wagtails?
    And yes, often in unlikely seeming man-made spaces- like the pavement in the Olympic Park residential area, a most sterile seeming ground.

    1. Grey Wagtails seem much more bound to the edges of water than Pied Wagtails. There was a very tame, and very bold, Pied Wagtail in Queensway a few years ago, which ran around between the ankles of pedestrians and the wheels of cars, confident of its speed. It would run up to you to be thrown little bits of cheese.

  2. Ralph, have you seen any Blackcaps recently? It's very depressing thinking about ambelopoulia in Cyprus or about all those hunters along the traditional migration routes of European birds, so it's no wonder I hope my local Blackcaps follow the example of the Dutch and German ones which winter in the UK. (Some of my local Blackcaps do winter in Britain).

    1. There are some resident Blackcaps in the park, as well as some summer migrants. I saw a female Blackcap on the rowan trees a few weeks ago