Thursday 9 February 2017

On a chilly morning the small birds were very hungry. Here is a video of Great Tits, Blue Tits and a Robin coming to feed beside the leaf yard.

They could eat without too much disturbance because people were feeding the Rose-Ringed Parakeets at the other end of the railings, and the Starlings had also gone down there in the chance of a snack.

On the other side of the lake, a pair of Robins were perched amicably side by side on a branch. A fortnight ago, if they had got this close to each other they would have started fighting furiously.

There were two Mistle Thrushes on the Parade Ground and, as I took some rather routine pictures of them, one attacked the other and they had a fight in midair. Sorry about the low quality of this picture -- I was using a long exposure because of the dim light and the attack took me by surprise.

Redwings are gregarious birds and were feeding together in peace.

There was also a flock of Goldfinches in a tree.

A Pied Wagtail caught a small bug.

The Kingfisher was back on his favourite branch near the Italian Garden.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were displaying under the bushes at the east end of the island.

Probably the same pair built a nest here last spring and had two chicks, though these didn't survive as there are not enough small fish at this time. The untidy nest at the back isn't theirs -- it's too high. It was probably made by Coots.

The fashion for eating algae off submerged stones has spread among the Herring Gulls. They never did this until a few months ago.

Another young Herring Gull was amusing itself by ripping up the awning of Peter Pan II, the small launch belonging to Bluebird Boats.

Continuing the series of strange food given to birds, here are two Moorhens, a Coot and a Black-Headed Gull eating paneer, which is a kind of Indian curd cheese. They all seemed to like it.

Only one Little Owl was on show today, the female near the Albert Memorial.


  1. Poor little things, they really are hungry. The myriad of different calls Great Tit make never fails to surprise me.

    1. Yes, struck by the same thing, very hungry rush for a feeding. Nice steady hands there too, which is not as easy to do as Ralph makes it look.

    2. The main Great Tit call heard in this video means 'Look out, I'm coming.' They also have an angry hiss, not heard here, used at closer quarters to mean 'Get out of my way.'

  2. I think someone once said that, if you hear a bird call you don't recognize at first, it's a Great Tit.

  3. – or a starling or blackbird pretending to be someone else. I used to live opposite a music school, and there was a blackbird living in their grounds which had a call incorporating a motif from the Beethoven 4th piano concerto.