Wednesday, 14 February 2018

A red heart for Valentine's Day. This pleasing picture was taken by Virginia.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull, not seen much recently, was back with his mate on their usual spot near the Dell restaurant. He is at the back of this picture.

There was in interesting comment on the film about this bird on YouTube: 'The city of Barcelona is full of gulls specialised in hunting and feeding on pigeons. As people are getting more responsible with their waste the gulls are adapting to a food source that is abundant in the urban area.'

The second pigeon eater has also not been in his territory near the Triangle car park for several days, but he has also returned.

A Common Gull pattered its feet to bring up worms in the enclosure of the Diana fountain. Why do Herring Gulls and Common Gulls (and even, seen once, a Black-Headed Gull) do this dance, but Lesser Black-Backed Gulls never do it?

The Grey Heron in the lower nest on the island is now sitting, a sign that eggs have been laid. Herons share the duty of incubating the eggs and bringing food for the young.

The heron in the upper nest is still standing up, but with luck there should be a reason to sit down soon.

The white Mallard drake, his mate and the spare normal drake fed together near the Dell restaurant. These trios of two males and a female are quite normal with Mallards, and don't usually cause conflict.

Here's another threesome at the top of the Dell waterfall.

And the Red-Crested Pochard on the Long Water has somehow managed to enter a similar arrangement with two Mallards.

There was a Peregrine on the Household Cavalry barracks tower.

The Redwings are still on the Parade Ground.

They were joined by a Pied Wagtail.

Great Tits start singing quite early in the year, but it's unusual to hear one in full song in the middle of February, especially on a dull chilly day.


  1. Remarkable picture of the heart-shaped Gull's beak. One if more apt to think of the Valentine Day massacre when thinking of gulls' inclinations though. Good to see that both Pigeon Killers are alive and well (well, I guess pigeons would take a dimmer view of it). I was starting to worry.

    The first time I witnessed Yellow Legged Gulls hunting pigeons by bludgeoning them to death was in the Northwestern corner of Spain. It seems that the behaviour is spreading eastward. Italian Gulls seem to have caught on as well, defying even the Pope's authority.

    Lovely little video of the cheery Great Tit! Spring cannot be very far.

    1. Oh dear, reminded of the Olympics at Seoul in 1988, when the released white doves of peace flew into the big Olympic flame and were incinerated. Not that doves are peaceful, they fight savagely.

  2. Yeah, that's what Konrad Lorenz said. That mourning doves and doves are true merciless beasts when fighting. Defeated wolves and dogs will concede and bare their necks and the winner will stop, but doves and mourning doves will continue pecking away until death.

    Whoever chose the dove as the symbol of peace was addled.