Saturday, 7 April 2018

There is a pair of Dunnocks in the leaf yard, which were chasing each other.

The male obliged with a brief song before flying off in pursuit of his mate. They sing quietly, and tend to be drowned by the shrieking Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

One of the Coal Tits here is now bold enough to come down to my hand to take food.

I think it was Johanna who got the first visit. Maybe I had put the bird off by constantly pointing a camera at it.

The pair of Nuthatches were also coming down to be fed.

Although they are bigger than Robins, have sharp curved claws, and arrive at some speed, they perch quite delicately on your hand.

A pair of Long-Tailed Tits were flitting around at the bottom of Buck Hill.

When I published a picture on Thursday of two Feral Pigeons the same colour together on a branch, it was suggested that observation had shown that pigeons preferred mates of a different colour to themselves. I don't think our pigeons have read the book. These pictures were taken within two minutes of each other at the Lido.

The female Little Owl at the leaf yard was on the edge of her hole, enjoying a mild day and an occasional glimpse of sunshine.

But it looks as if the owls' hole near the Henry Moore sculpture has been seized by a pair of Stock Doves.

Last year the owls were forced out of this hole by a pair of Carrion Crows nesting in the top of the lime tree. They moved to a horse chestnut tree at the top of the hill and successfully raised three owlets. But I could never find where the hole was.

The sculpture was surrounded by Grey Herons.

Two Mallard drakes beside the Dell restaurant terrace were clearly getting a hormone surge with the coming of spring.

Virginia was sure that Moorhens were nesting in a low hawthorn tree here. I was sceptical, but she was right. Here is the nest today. It's very hard to get a clear view of it through the spiky twigs.

For some days a pair of Great Crested Grebes have been hanging around the reed bed below the Diana fountain. I hoped they would come in through the hole in the nest and nest in the reeds. But the silly birds are now trying to build a nest on the edge of the hole. This is probably impossible.

The grebes nesting in the reed bed on the east side of the Long Water are surrounded by Coots, and have to keep a wary eye on them.

The elusive Little Grebe made an appearance at the island. I think it spends much of its time behind the baskets of plants around the island. There seems to be only one, as you never hear it calling.


  1. Great clip of the Little Grebe! It looks like a little lovely buoy. It appeared to be startled by the gull cries at the end. Is it in any danger?

    I wonder what do Herons see in that sculpture...

    Is that the same Coal Tit that was too shy to come to the hand previously? If it is, well done, Johanna!

    1. I don't think adult Little Grebes are in much danger from gulls. They are not called Tachybaptus for nothing. They just disappear instantly.

      Herons like vantage points from which to survey fish or, in this case, rats.

      Yes, it is the same Coal Tit. I was surprised, as I thought it would never pluck up the courage to come to the hand.

    2. Agree they're not im much danger from the gulls but Herons have been know to take them!

  2. I went to St James's park on Friday and could only find one black swan. The most I have seen there was 8, but that was several weeks ago. Have you been there yet to check them out, Ralph?

  3. No, I must go. But three of them are pinioned, and can't fly away.