Tuesday 1 May 2018

The male Little Owl at the leaf yard showed his face briefly. Tom got this picture of him looking down from the nest hole. He wouldn't come right out.

 Charlie and Melissa the Carrion Crows were bathing together.

The pair of Robins at the southwest corner of the leaf yard certainly have a brood in their nest, as both of them were coming out every few seconds to collect pine nuts from my hand.

At last one pair of Great Tits seem to be nesting here too.

A Blackcap sang in a nearby tree.

One of the Coal Tits in the Rose Garden -- I think there are two pairs -- waited to have a turn on the feeder.

A Goldcrest sang in a tree near the bridge.

The Great Crested Grebes nesting at the island had a chick yesterday, but it seems not to have survived. There are three eggs still in the nest, as you can see when the grebe stands up to turn them over.

Grebes don't just eat fish. This one was picking small insects off the surface of the water.

The Coots' nest under the Dell restaurant balcony has survived some fair-sized waves stirred up by yesterday's strong wind.

One of the eggs has rolled out of the nest. This quite often happens, and I don't know whether it's by accident or whether the Coot has discarded an egg it knows to be infertile by not hearing any signs of life.

The Mute Swan nesting on the little artificial island was restless today, and we thought the eggs were hatching. But when she stood up to turn them over, nothing seemed to have happened yet.

The swans at the Lido restaurant changed places on the nest so that the female could go off to feed.

Male Mute Swans consider it beneath their dignity to sit on eggs, and when the female leaves they guard the eggs by standing over them. But they do help to maintain the nest, in this case by reaching over the fence to pick bits of reed.

A Mandarin drake preened on a post under the willow tree next to the bridge.


  1. Oh, how I love Tom's picture of the stalking Little Owl. It reminds me of the oft-hilarious youtube videos starring stalking cats.

    So sad about the loss of the Grebe chick :-( I so hope the chick from May 2nd's entry will fare better.

    1. It's a shame, though, that the male Little Owl has become so reclusive. He used to be a very easygoing bird. I don't know what happened to him.