Monday, 23 April 2018

The new metal barriers in the Italian Garden ponds, which were probably meant to stop Coots from nesting and ripping up the plants, have as usual proved no obstacle. The Coots just dive under them.

There are two pairs of Moorhens nesting in the trees near the bridge -- or at least trying to nest. This pair started a nest here a few weeks ago but couldn't make it stick. It seems unlikely they'll succeed this time.

In the same place, by squatting down and shooting through the railings, it's just possible to get a very obstructed picture of the Great Crested Grebes' nest in the oak tree.

On the island, a Mute Swan preened above the grebes' nest.

The nesting Grey Heron is almost always standing in the nest when I see her. She does seem to be sitting on eggs ...

... but is uncomfortable and restless and keeps getting up and turning them.

A heron at Peter Pan looked up expectantly at someone feeding the ducks.

This one had got into deep water near the bridge. It was nearly afloat.

A Grey Wagtail looked for insects in a patch of slime near the Lido, probably quite a productive place.

There was a brief glimpse a few House Martins flying over the bridge.

A Magpie in a treetop overlooking the Dell displayed and called to its mate ...

... which was some distance away, invisible in a large messy nest, but called back.

This Jay is now always waiting for me when I come under the bridge. It will fly down and take a peanut from my hand.

Several Carrion Crows seemed to have found some interesting titbits in the border of the shrubbery here. I've never seen them foraging here before. Perhaps there has been a new hatching of insect larvae here.

A Mistle Thrush foraged in the grass near the Dell, but it was a Song Thrush that first found a worm. Sorry about the shaky video at the end -- it was shot at extreme range.

A Blue Tit looked out expectantly between the new leaves.

A Great Tit called to make sure I didn't overlook it.


  1. So much imperiousness in such a little thing. 'Feed me, minion!'
    Love the colour study in the Blue Tit picture. Every colour highlights and sets each other.

    Human-built obstacles? For a Coot? Pfffft.

    1. Just so. Two-dimensional thinking for three-dimensional birds.

  2. When I read this comment from Theresa Short, Park Manager .... "The cages have been specifically designed to keep waterfowl out which will quickly damage and destroy the delicate plants ..." I guessed she probably hadn't witnessed the mountaineering skills of coots and moorhens.

    1. ... or the diving skills.

    2. I hadn't named her, out of delicacy, but you have got it. Sorry to say this, but she has a paper qualification and nothing else. I have spent four or five hours in the park every day with my eyes open since she was a teenager, and have observed just a little bit about the behaviour of birds. And when I am not sure, I say so.

  3. Could you post a sound recording of some of the birds you feature?

    1. I'm putting up videos of birds singing when I can get them. But for serious reference you should go to Xeno-Canto, a vast store of the calls and songs of every bird in the world.