Monday, 16 April 2018

A Magpie went too near a Blackbirds' nest in the brambles. They succeeded in chasing it away.

Two Long-Tailed Tits preened on a twig.

This is a female Blackcap. Only the males have black heads.

A Song Thrush sang in the Rose Garden.

A Starling on the edge of the Round Pond looked magnificent in the early sunshine.

Rose-Ringed Parakeets are particularly fond of young dandelion leaves. If picked while they are still small, the leaves make a good salad for humans too.

The parakeets can't peck bits out of nuts from a wire mesh feeder, as their bills are too large. So they attack the bottom of the feeder, hoping that any bits they detach will fall into their mouths. Most don't, so the Feral Pigeons on the ground underneath get a free meal.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was in her hole.

But the hole in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture is now used by Stock Doves. I heard one of the owls calling from the horse chestnut trees at the top of the hill near the park offices. But I have never been able to find the hole in these trees where the owls successfully nested last year.

The Grey Heron in the nest on the island had a thorough stretch.

The pair of Great Crested Grebes near the bridge are rebuilding a nest they started and abandoned, under an oak tree about 25 yards from the northwest corner of the bridge. This can be seen from the path, but not photographed as there are too many twigs in the way.

The grebe on the stolen nest on the island was mildly interested in being photographed.

Two young Herring Gulls amused themselves by annoying a nesting Coot. They will be more serious in their attacks when there are eggs or chicks.

While the Mute Swan on the Long Water dozed on her nest, a pair of Coots built a new nest on the edge of the little island. Their previous nest here was too exposed to the swans, which kept demolishing it.

The cowslips are out in the shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge.


  1. When blackbirds' nests are threatened like that, they may be joined by conspecifics they would otherwise chase away. I've seen this, and similar behaviour in carrion crows vs. a climbing cat. Re blackcaps, it's not all males as the juvs have brown-toned caps. Re starlings, this interesting recent story about their vision seems to be exclusively covered by New Scientist. Jim

    1. That Blackcap has to be a female adult, as they haven't yet started bringing up their fledglings. I got a picture of a juvenile several years ado, in the same colour scheme as a female but softer and fluffier. Thanks for the link to the New Scientist article, which I'd already seen because I have a subscription. I am a bit sceptical about it, because Starlings and many other birds stare steadily at me full face as I photograph them.

  2. I think the Grebe's face expression means that it recognizes you. Is that possible?

    I too think that is an adult female Blackcap. At the very least it looks identical to females here.

    1. I think that grebes ignore all events and creatures on land, which is as remote to them as outer space.