Monday 5 February 2018

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were building a nest under a tree on the Long Water about 20 yards from the bridge. They have used this site before and succeeded in raising a brood, but it's unlikely to succeed so early in the year when there aren't many little fish for the young.

Nevertheless, a Little Grebe caught a small perch under the willow next to the bridge. Thanks to Virginia for this pleasing picture.

The first daffodil at the Vista was not appreciated by the local Moorhen family.

This Lesser Black-Backed Gull was already in full summer plumage, with a pure white head. It was on one of the posts below the bridge. At first I thought it was the pigeon killer, but looking closely at the original photograph shows that it wasn't. I think it was one of the pair who are usually near the Lido restaurant terrace.

A Mute Swan was examining the cut-down reeds and irises in one of the Italian Garden ponds, and seemed to be checking its suitability as a nest site.

Incidentally, I've discovered how the swans that land in the Italian Garden ponds get back to the lake, which would be a long walk through dangerous territory. Malcolm the Wildlife Officer used to come and grab them and carry them back. No doubt his successor, whom I haven't yet met, will do the same.

A pair of Rose-Ringed Parakeets were courting in an ancient chestnut tree which would certainly have had a hole for them to nest in.

Two Long-Tailed Tits were leaping around in a tree beside the Long Water. Seeing a pair rather than a flock means that the nesting season is approaching.

A little flock of Starlings ran around looking for wireworms and other tasty creatures.

It was a cold morning and the birds were hungry. This is the direct stare that means 'Feed me', from a Jackdaw ...

... a Magpie ...

... and the white-faced Blackbird.

Another fine picture from Virginia: a Mistle Thrush near the Albert Memorial. A pair nest here every year.

But I didn't see the Albert Memorial Little Owl today.

Also near the memorial, in the Flower Walk, I fed the Robin who lives in the corkscrew hazel bush. This bird is a favourite of Julia's, but sadly she is out of action for a while with a neck injury, and I am looking after the Robin for her. This bird is very confident and will come to the hand of people it knows even slightly.

Farther down the Flower Walk a Wren was hopping around on the path.

Update, 5.16pm: Virginia just saw a Little Owl 150 yards from the Round Pond. Picture taken on her smartphone as darkness was falling.


  1. Ralph is back in very fine form!
    Love love LOVE the Robin picture.

    1. We are all in thrall to Robins. I think they know.