Sunday 12 February 2017

A small patch of ground just to the west of the leaf yard contained a Song Thrush ...

... a Mistle Thrush ...

... and a Wren.

Inside the leaf yard, both Nuthatches constantly flew down to take food. This one paused for a moment to see what was on offer.

A Jay waited for a peanut to be put on the fence, displaying its fine painted-on moustache which reminds me of a Kathakali dancer.

A Robin was also looking expectant. It took a nut from the hand of a small girl of about five -- another bird lover in the making.

The Redwings have not been put off by the new topsoil spread on the Parade Ground, which seems to be well stocked with worms.

There was one Pied Wagtail, but it was finding the rough surface heavy going, and most of them were on the edge of the Serpentine.

The Kingfisher was in the willow tree, looking restless, and soon flew to a more distant branch. Probably having five people starting at him was a bit too much to take.

The Great Crested Grebes were back at their nest site at the east end of the island, hard to see among the bushes. Perhaps that messy heap behind them really is their nest, with some leaves that caught on the twigs as they were trying to lay them down.

Farther along the shore, some Red Crested Pochards were resting peacefully. The island really does seem to be a safe refuge for waterfowl. Although a fox could easily swim across the narrow strip of water between it and the shore, none seems to have bothered yet. There is plenty of prey for them without having to get wet.

The white Mallard shone in the shadow under the balcony of the Dell restaurant.

Today's toy for a young Herring Gull was a bit of roof slate, now hung with algae. All these objects come from a load of builder's rubble carelessly dropped into the lake during a Red Bull 'birdman' event, and never cleared up as it should have been.

The Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture came out to be admired by several people. She will tolerate being approached carefully by one person at a time, but too much staring or a glint of light on binocular lenses and into her hole she goes.


  1. That Little Owl is too reluctant a Diva for her fame. 'No cameras, please!'

    1. I think she sees binoculars as giant owl eyes. I'm always careful to shade the lenses with my hand so they don't glitter. Cameras are tolerated because there's only one lens, and all serious photographers work with the lens hood on which shades it.

    2. I think I've read somewhere that a similar thing happens to Jackdaws. The more shining and clear their silvery eyes are, the more dominant the bird is. So they understandably feel very nervous when a human being stares at them intently.

    3. Yes, and also with Green Woodpeckers. Both are hole dwellers, and the bright eyes seem to help prevent other birds entering the hole.

  2. Wren and nuthatch pics mixed up, though of course they are related as discussed yesterday. Jim

    1. Thanks. It may seem odd to make the mistake, but pictures have to be dragged into place and bounce around unpredictably.