Wednesday 13 December 2017

A rainy day is perfect for Blackbirds. A female hauled up a worm from a bare flower bed in the Rose Garden ...

... and the male at the corner of the Dell was also lucky.

This Robin in the Rose Garden is now a regular customer, hopping out on to the path to be fed.

So is a Jay beside the Long Water. With practice they can get two peanuts out of the shell in ten seconds.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits passed the tree on the endles quest for insects.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was also looking for bugs in the Rose Garden ...

... and so was a Green Woodpecker on the Vista.

The Black Redstart that was at the gate of the Winter Wasteland was been seen at the Lookout this morning -- this is the wooden building surrounded by a shrubbery on the west edge of the Parade Ground. I went round the enclosure several times trying to find it, without success. All I found was a Wren, which was only visible among the dead leaves because it was moving.

The Grey Herons on the island were at their nest again, one on it and the other perched on a precatiously thin birch twig above, which looks too thin to support its weight, but this large bird only weighs about 3lb. It lost its balance and had to flap to avoid falling off.

A Moorhen and a heron preened on the posts under the Serpentine Bridge. The heron cleaned its ferocious bill on the wood.

Young Herring Gulls played with a stone covered with algae and a bit of bark.

The ice is gone from the lake, and the remaining four Great Crested Grebes can move about freely.

 The Little Grebe was again under the willow tree near the bridge.

On a dull day a Shoveller drake provided a bit of colour.

For some reason one of the towers at the Winter Wasteland has an old Douglas Dakota on it. It looked tiny and at first I thought it was a model. One forgets how small aircraft were in the 1940s.

It was sad to see this fine old bird reduced to a fairground attraction. Here it is a few years ago, still flying.


  1. New regulations insist on an escape chute so that passengers can reach the ground safely, the door is four feet above the ground on a normal landing and about one if it's just belly landed.

    1. How utterly stupid. But there are still a fair number of Dakotas in service, and I think some carry passengers.

  2. Better to serve as a fairground attraction than to rot in a junkyard, I guess (like poor Buran here It breaks my heart to see aircraft boneyards.

    I've always thought England has a very loving and admiring attitude towards its historic aircrafts. I hope I'm not wrong.

  3. I've often passed by the Spitfires displayed outside old Biggin Hill - not even sure if they're real or replicas. But you can't help but being impressed by the small size of them. I too feel strange about machines like that being used as 'decorations' in unrelated context (I also dislike musical instruments being used as decorations in pubs, nailed to the wall or ceiling..)

    1. The Spitfires at Biggin Hill are real, but no longer airworthy. There are 30 flying Spitfires in Britain and 54 in the rest of the world, including 2 in Germany; and also static ones, 16 in Britain and 71 in the rest of the world.