Tuesday 26 December 2017

A hoarse shriek announced the arrival of a Grey Heron coming over the bridge.

It circled and performed a beautifully neat landing next to its mate. You can see from the way the feathers are lifting on the tops of its wings that it has stalled at exactly the moment of touchdown. Although it's a big bird it can land on a twig as accurately as a tit.

Cormorants, on the other hand, find it quite hard to land on top of a narrow post, and sometimes fall off.

At the slightest sign that someone has food, a crowd of Black-Headed Gulls appears within seconds. They can spot a promising-looking plastic bag from hundreds of yards away.

Jays can also pick you up from a long way off. This one with its crest raised looks particularly expectant.

A pair of Nuthatches at the leaf yard came out to take food from the fence ...

... as well as the usual tits.

A large flock of Long-Tailed Tits flew along the edge of the Serpentine. Here are two of them.

A Wren was scolding another Wren near the Italian Garden, too busy to be shy of the camera, though it kept a watchful eye on me.

The female Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture was out in front of her hole in the lime tree.


  1. In case I forget, Ralph, a very big thank-you for your daily bulletins on bird-life. When life is all going horribly wrong (my husband died earlier this year, when his cancer returned, at the relatively young age of 55), your posts provide a thread of continuity to which one can cling. I also enjoy the charm of your photos of diminutive passerine birds (I'll draw a veil over the eating habits of some of the gulls!). All good wishes for some fine birding in 2018. Cathy

  2. May i also add my words of appreciation as well Ralph. i love your intimate knowledge of our birds & never miss it, even though i may not poast as often. Season's greetings to you & wishing you another great year of birding. Mark W2.

  3. I agree with Cathy's words (so, so sorry for your loss, Cathy, if a stranger's words are worth anything). Ralph's daily blog has given me something to look forward to in days that were particularly hard.

    Love how the Herons look so clumsy mid-flight, and then they turn out precision landings with the best of them.

    1. Very sorry to hear of your loss, Cathy. Thank you all for your kind works, and a very happy New Year to you.

    2. Thank you Tinúviel; your kind words are warmly welcomed.