Saturday 14 January 2017

The Kingfisher was back today, in a place where it could be photographed from the Italian Garden at only 50 yards' distance instead of right across the lake.  Hope to find it in the dead willow tree soon for a close shot.

The pair of Gadwalls were back in the Italian Garden pond ...

... along with the Pochard-Tufted Duck hybrid.

They kept very close to the hybrid duck. It is a busy diver, more so than either of its parents, and stirs up a lot of silt from the bottom, which contains small invertebrates that the Gadwalls can eat.

A Shoveller was speeding along at the east end of the lake, raising a bow wave.

A Common Gull was worm dancing in the Diana fountain enclosure.

Did they learn this trick by watching Herring Gulls? Presumably it's transmitted from one Herring Gull to another, since it wouldn't be much use in their original habitat on a rocky shore.

I threw a peanut to a Carrion Crow on the edge of the Serpentine, and a Coot ran in and grabbed it.

But it didn't know what to do with it, and soon the peanut was grabbed by a gull.

When young Herring Gulls get peanuts, they don't seem to know that they are edible either, and play with them. But sooner or later they will crush the shell with their strong bill, and the aroma of something tasty will emerge.

The white-faced Blackbird near the Italian Garden came out to be given a bit of digestive biscuit.

The usual Dunnock was under the feeder in the Rose Garden.

It's getting quite used to me, so I shall try throwing down some seeds for it. It has to realise that I'm throwing things for it, not at it. The Blackbird has already reached this stage.

There's no problem in feeding the Blue Tits ...

... and Coal Tits at the bridge.

When anyone they know passes, down they come and call for attention.

The female Little Owl in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture was out, despite the persistent drizzle.

So was the female owl near the Albert Memorial, caught here when she paused in the middle of preening.


  1. It's wonderful that the little birds remember your kindness, Ralph. They have better memories and more gratitude than many, I am sure. My sparrows still believe I throw things at them, not for them.

    I wish I could have seen the Coot's astonishing feat of getting to the peanut faster than a crow. The great scavenger, scavenged.

    1. Coots rush in blindly. Carrion Crows tend to have look around before strolling in. Many birds are faster to food than them, including Magpies and, perhaps surprisingly, Wood Pigeons.