Monday 5 March 2018

The dominant Mute Swans on the Long Water can get to the little artificial island, which is now ice-free, and have started nesting on it.

A Moorhen walked over the melting ice ...

... and a young Black-Headed Gull played with a stick.

On the Parade Ground Black-Headed Gulls, a single Lesser Black-Back, and Carrion Crows were not frightened by the large tractor bearing down on them. The freshly laid topsoil is full of worms and larvae.

Common Gulls, Herring Gulls and Black-Headed Gulls all patter their feet to bring up worms, though I have never seen a Lesser Black-Backed Gull doing it. This was a successful dance, and the Common Gull got its worm.

A Shoveller drake looked very fine in the hazy sunlight of an early spring day.

The Red-Crested Pochard drake who as chosen a female Mallard as a mate had stiff competition from Mallard drakes, but stuck close to her.

There were Redwings all over the park -- near the Dell, beside the Round Pond, and here next to the Physical Energy statue.

A Wren came out of a bush on the path by the bridge.

The pair of Coal Tits in the leaf yard remain very shy. They hesitate even to come down to take food from the railings, and the other birds grab it first. I did manage to get one pine nut into this bird, but it took ten minutes.

A Long-Tailed Tit paused before coming down to a feeder in the Dell.

A Jay waited to be given a peanut.

Repairs to one of the small boathouses have excluded Feral Pigeons, so one has nested under the rafters outside. Thanks to the people at Bluebird Boats for taking me out to see this.

The mild weather brought out plenty of Little Owls. This is the male of the pair at the leaf yard ...

... and here is his mate in their nest hole in the chestnut tree.

The female owl at the Albert Memorial was enjoying the sunshine.

The one near the Henry Moore statue insisted on staying in the shade, and the only angle from which she was visible was with the sun directly behind her.


  1. I encountered my first flock of redwings yesterday north of the Physical Energy statue. Prior to this blog I'd have walked by oblivious. Thank you for that particular pleasure and the many similar joys it has enabled.

    1. They are very beautiful little thrushes. When they stand still they look like dead leaves, so easy to miss.

  2. It will be interesting to see if we get any hybris RCP x Mallard young this spring?

    1. Even if there are, they are unlikely to survive for more than a few days. The gulls are numerous and ruthless, and the lake is a killing ground for ducklings.