Saturday 3 November 2018

After yesterday's excursion it was back to the park and to its ordinary but very pleasing birds. At least the Black Swan is exotic. We don't know where she came from, but she doesn't seem to be an escape from a collection as she has no ring. There is a small feral population of Black Swans in England.

She now recognises people who are likely to feed her from a long way off, and bustles over.

A Mute Swan preened, slightly ruffled by the breeze, and flapped her wings. This is the mate of the dominant swan on the Long Water.

This is the male Great Crested Grebe from the west end of the island, one of the pair shown yesterday where the other one is in winter plumage. He's quite dark, and it seems that dark grebes keep their summer plumage longer. I suspect that grebes become darker as they age, but I am by no means sure of that.

The young Moorhens in the Dell are just beginning to get their adult red and yellow bills.

The young Grey Heron that hangs around the Dell was in the little pool at the top of the waterfall.

If a heron thinks there are fish in this pool, it's probably right. There's one-way traffic in fish here. Small ones are swept over the weir, and some of these are then swept over the large waterfall whose edge is visible in this picture. But there is also another waterfall midway in the stream as it flows through the Dell, small but high enough to prevent fish from going up it. The carp that collect at the bottom of the second waterfall grow to a fair size.

Black-Headed Gulls at the Vista hovered and swooped in the breeze to catch food thrown to them by visitors.

A Jay swallowed a peanut which it had just extracted from the shell.

A Starling posed in a large flower pot at the Lido restaurant.

The red oak near the leaf yard was full of Rose-Ringed Parakeets wating to be fed by the usual Saturday mob of visitors.

A Treecreeper ran up an English oak.

A Blue Tit ...

... and a Coal Tit looked out of the holly tree near the bridge, expecting to be fed.

The wildflower bed in the Rose Garden has been cleared for the winter, but a tiny poppy, barely half an inch across, has come out to celebrate the approaching hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War.


  1. In Flanders fields the poppies blow...

    Brave little flower, all alone! This is such a moving picture.

    I gasped audibly when looking at the Starling picture. Such lovely, lovely colours!

    The dominant Swan's mate is quite a large bird herself. I imagine she is quite capable of bullying everybody else.

    How does the Black Swan recognize people from so far off? Being so pitiflly short-sighted myself I always find that miraculous.

    1. The Black Swan recognised me from at least 200m away. I cut the beginning of her approach from the video. Crows can spot me from even farther off. It can only be from the way people move -- like the way you can recognise a distant Starling from the way it flies.