Sunday 10 December 2017

It had snowed in the night. The Carrion Crows on Buck Hill came down to demand peanuts.

Freezing weather makes the Great Tits flock down to be fed. Robins usually come for several helpings.

The oldest Egyptian Geese in the park, who have been here for 14 years without ever breeding successfully, were parading at the edge of the Italian Garden, calling noisily.

There had been just enough snow to make a very small snowman on the edge of one of the fountains.

But most of it had melted to slush. A Black-Headed Gull stared at the camera from a muddy puddle.

I also got a sharp look from the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull, who thought I was too close to his meal.

He tolerated a Carrion Crow as long as it kept at a respectful distance. The crow knew that gull occasionally leaves his meal and flies around for a few minutes, and was waiting for the chance to nip in and eat some of it.

The second pigeon killer was prowling nearby. Although I'm sure he kills pigeons and I have often seen him eating one, I've never caught him in the act. He is less skilled than the original gull, and doesn't get a pigeon every day.

The Grey Heron was standing on last year's nest, with its mate on the ground below.

A Shoveller drake brought a bit of colour to a dim day.

The white Mallard was out with his mate and male companion. I think the white Mallard is the dominant drake in the threesome, since he is often seen with his mate and without the other drake.

Gadwalls are less promiscuous than Mallards, and usually go around in pairs.

It wasn't the kind of day when you'd expect to see a Little Owl, but surprisingly the female near the Albert Memorial was at the back of her hole when I passed on my way home.


  1. I've seen the weather forecast for London today (we get BBC London one and two, believe it or not) and I'm freezing just thinking of the poor small birds. Ralph is (and I don't mean this lightly) heroic and I am sure a lifesaver for many of them.

    Don't the Egyptians feel the cold?! They come from the original sunny land.

    1. Geese seem most resistant to cold. We can see other imports from warmer lands, such as Rose-Ringed Parakeets and Little Owls, reacting to the cold, but geese including Egyptians just tough it out.

  2. Sorry if I forgot something, but didn't those Egyptians' gosling that was placed with foster parents in spring 2015 last the course? Jim

    1. Probably -- it certainly got to being a teenager before it disappeared into the general crowd. But I wasn't counting it because the parents didn't bring it up.