Friday 29 December 2017

A pair of Wood Pigeons courted in a tree in the Dell, with bowing and tail fanning. Twice the male's attentions got too pressing for the female, who flew to another branch.

A sunny spell started a Mistle Thrush singing its dull repetitive song in the Rose Garden. As a singer it is far outclassed by its near relatives the Song Thrush and the Blackbird.

A male Blackbird foraged under a bush near the Queen's Temple ...

... finding wireworms.

These are not worms, but the long thin larvae of various species of click beetle. They are a staple food of many birds that forage in grassland, and are common enough to make it worth searching for these very small creatures.

The white-faced Blackbird near the Italian Garden was also foraging, but was expecting me to give her some sultanas, and stared impatiently when I took a moment to film her.

The place at the leaf yard where people feed the Rose-Ringed Parakeets is also home to at least ten Jackdaws ...

... and half a dozen Jays ...

... which are ignored by visitors, but come out when they see me going by.

There are also many Great Tits here, the commonest of the small birds in the park and very easy to feed off your hand.

By concentrating on the bright noisy parakeets, people are missing a lot.

At the Dell restaurant, someone had picked out the black olives from their pizza. A Feral Pigeon investigated them and didn't like them either.

A Moorhen at the Italian Garden had found some twigs and instinctively arranged them into a nest shape. Whatever the time of year, they just can't stop this behaviour. Coots, of course, are even more obsessive.

There are a lot of Tufted Ducks, about 70, and the drakes are looking their best at this time.

The incompetent Egyptian Geese were cropping the carefully maintained turf along the edge of the Italian Garden. They have been in this area and under the Henry Moore sculpture for 14 years without raising a single gosling, while later arrivals have bred up to almost 100 birds.

The chilly day didn't stop a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee from visiting flowers near the bridge.


  1. Travelled to London today hoping to spot the owls. Sadly it was pouring with rain:-( saw some robins, tits, white faced blackbirds and watched 3 comorants fishing. Went on to st James park and saw 3 herons. Gutted not to spot either of the owls. Is there a best time to go?

    1. Sorry you missed the owls. So did I, despite two visits to each place. There is really no best time of day, but mild, sunny and windless weather is best for all of them. The female near the Albert Memorial often stands in the entrance of her hole in falling rain, probably because the roof leaks and this is the only dry place.

  2. Looks to me like the Woodpigeons are mainly competing over a comfy horizontal perch. Possibly the left bird's lack of bowing display, even when first repelling the right bird, indicates the former is female. I don't know what I missed, but I wonder if male Woodpigeons, unlike Feral Pigeons/Rock Dove, may only be able to identify females by their response to a display? Jim

    1. Lots of horizontal branches in that tree. It could have been envy of one branch simply because the other had it.

  3. Nothing intelligent to add, except that I love the pictures of the small birds almost best of all. That Great Tit looks smashing against the warm brown and orange background.

    I always say, people don't know what they are missing if they pay no attention to unflashy corvids.