Wednesday 8 November 2017

The construction of the funfair that infests the park for months every winter has driven the Pied Wagtails out of their home on the Parade Ground. Several were running around near the Triangle car park. They have a high-stepping gait like an American trotting horse, to avoid tripping over the grass.

The Rose-Ringed Parakeets are becoming more conspicuous as the leaves change colour. In summer they are perfectly camouflaged, but in winter you can see them miles away.

A Cormorant caught a small fish among the algae at the bottom of the Long Water, and shook the algae off before swallowing it.

Another Cormorant was looking for fish in the wire baskets of the hatchery under the bridge.

Next to it, a Grey Heron preened on a post.

While I was looking down from the bridge, one of the Coal Tits in the tree below saw me and flew up to be fed, ignoring the traffic.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits paused in a tree below the bridge, then flew over it just above the passing cars.

The Black Swan was also at the bridge, with a group of Mute Swans that were being evicted from the Long Water by the resident pair.

More Common Gulls have arrived, and there was a row of them on the buoys at the Lido. But they are never very common in the park, always outnumbered by the smaller Black-Headed Gulls.

The male Little Owl from the leaf yard came out of his hole in the horse chestnut for a short time, didn't like the chilly grey day, and went in again.

The female owl near the Henry Moore statue stayed out. She has always been less sensitive to the weather than the pair at the leaf yard. She has also become more accustomed to being photographed, when once she used to flee if you glanced at her.

These owls look quite big in photographs taken with a zoom lens, as they pose regally in the trees. The following picture, not by me and downloaded from the web, shows how little they really are. This is a male owl, smaller than the female.

There were wasps all over the flowers on this Fatsia japonica bush near the bridge. At this time of year there aren't many flowering plants to choose from.


  1. Hi Ralph- the plant the wasps are on is Fatsia japonica, a close relative of ivy. In fact there is a horticultural intergeneric hybrid between them: x Fatshedera.

    1. Thanks. I was wondering what it was, but am deplorably ignorant about garden plants.

  2. Ralph, I think you are going to enjoy this sign:

    That girl looks like Pallas Athena!

    1. It's a fine sign, and typically Australian -- in that land where even spiders can kill you, what will the owls do? A bit graphically confused, with the stylised running man and the fairly realistic owl, though I am worried about its feet with five oddly disposed toes. I would prefer a stylised frontal owl like the one on an Athenian dekadrachm.

    2. Let's not forget Eric Hosking, owls can be dangerous. Jim

    3. Eric Hosking was invading a wild Tawny Owl's nest. He was really asking to be slashed.