Monday 9 October 2017

A Grey Wagtail appeared in the Dell, hunting insects on a bit of bare ground.

A Wren flew into a bush in the Rose Garden.

As the temperature falls the small birds get hungrier. Several Great Tits and a Robin came to take food from my hand on the east side of the Long Water.

Goldfinches twittered in the trees above.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits went by.

There was just one Mistle Thrush in the rowan trees on Buck Hill. It obligingly perched among the biggest clusters of fruit on the best tree.

The people who feed the Rose-Ringed Parakeets at the leaf yard often bring them apples, which they are very fond of. A dropped apple attracts a lot of customers.

Both the pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gulls had been busy, though they were no longer in sight. A Herring Gull was finishing the remains of one pigeon at the Triangle car park, and a couple of Carrion Crows were dealing with the other at the Dell restaurant.

The Black Swan came over for his daily treat and was quickly surrounded by Coots, which he shooed away with increasing irritation.

A Mute Swan ate a dead leaf with apparent enjoyment.

The Little Grebe is still on the Round Pond.

The Great Crested Grebe family were on the Serpentine, having trouble with Black-Headed Gulls trying to grab the fish that were being brought to the chicks. Often the exchange of fish took place under water and the chick ate the fish before surfacing.

Jabir Belmehdi found and photographed a European hornet, Vespa crabro. This big ginger creature is not a very fierece insect, unlike the dreaded Asian hornet, V. velutina, which is darker. But obviously you don't want to annoy it, as its sting is quite painful enough to be getting on with, and hurts for days


  1. We usually flee quickly from places where European hornets are gathering. They are unpredictable, and dangerous.

    At the risk of sounding once again like I am 5, I squeed quite loudly when watching the clip of the Robin and the Great Tit.

    All evidence shows that Coots are alien life forms colonizing this planet. How else can it be explained that they should suffer a full-on bite by such a powerful creature as a swan, black or otherwise, and yet remain nonchalanty in the vicinity to have another go at the birdseed?

    1. Yes, I also find the utter insensibility of Coots puzzling. But it seems to work for them.

  2. BTW, the Black Swan sees and recognizes you from such a long distance away!

    1. It's an artefact of the camera at its lowest zoom setting. The Black Swan looks farther away than he actually is, and seems to approach at ridiculous speed. The same very short focal length is used by estate agents for interior views of the houses they are selling, to make the rooms look spacious.