Sunday 29 October 2017

A Jay dug up a buried hazelnut on Buck Hill.

Some of the Jays in the park will fly down and seize a peanut neatly from your fingers. It's all over in a flash -- I must try filming this in slow motion.

A pair of Carrion Crows enjoyed swinging on the weathervane on the Lido restaurant.

A Rose-Ringed Parakeet looked out of a hole in one of the plane trees near the boathouses. This has long been a Starlings' nest hole -- I hope the parakeets don't take it over.

Several Blackbirds were eating fruit in the rowan trees on Buck Hill.

The female Little Owl at the leaf yard was in her usual chestnut tree.

Egyptian Geese, a Grey Heron, a Moorhen and a Wood Pigeon were enjoying the seclusion of the Dell, which was fenced off as a bird sanctuary in 1922.

A Moorhen knocked a Black-Headed Gull off a post. The gull knocked off another gull.

A Black-Headed Gull turned downwind and was ruffled.

A Great Crested Grebe had been preening, and stood up to flap it wings. They aren't quite as small as this picture suggests, since they were angled back.

A pair of Shovellers were doing their head-bobbing courtship display, inappropriately at the end of October.

The Mallard drakes in the lake come in six colour schemes: black and white, very dark with an unusually shiny iridescent green head, normal, pale with a rather dull iridescent head as here, almost white with a completely dull brown head, and pure white.

A day wouldn't be complete without the Black Swan coming over for his treat of birdseed.

Yesterday a Firecrest was reported on the London Bird Club Wiki, on the west side of the so-called Bird Sanctuary -- that is, the enclosure with the nursery greenhouses in it. I went there today and heard it calling, but couldn't see it in the thick bushes.


  1. Hopefully the firecrest will stay for the winter. With patience and luck you'll get a picture. Will be more active early if it is feeding.

    1. It did come out of the bushes and was up a tree in the open. But even there I couldn't see it, not even movement among the leaves. Will keep trying daily as long as I can hear it.

    2. I keep hearing people saying Firecrests are becoming more common, so hopefully, as Belfast Birder said, it hangs around.

  2. Firecrest is a super excellent bird for inner London in such a small area of habitat, well done ! Go early as possible and 'pish' and the bird will pop out of cover and be very inquisitive to the noise !

  3. From 0:12-0:56 in this documentary is an example of 'pishing' birds out of cover.

    1. I can easily get Goldcrests out of cover by playing a recording of their song. When I did this for the Firecrest it answered, but didn't come to the front. I always feel this is a dirty trick, but allowable occasionally outside the breeding season.

    2. Sardinian warblers fall for it quite easily, too. They turn up to investigate any bird sound we play.

      I too am uncomfortable with playing bird calls to flush them out, but sometimes it is necessary, and I don't think any harm is done if done in winter.

    3. The 'pishing' mentioned above seems to be a kind of general purpose bird call. Living in the age of the smartphone, I have never heard anyone do this.