Thursday 20 December 2018

The bold Nuthatch at the leaf yard is becoming a tiny celebrity. Here's a slow motion video by Tom of me feeding it ...

... and a close-up also by him.

Neil was also here feeding the Nuthatch, and it appears at the end of this slow-motion video preceded by a succession of Great Tits. The dinosaur roars on the soundtrack are the slowed-down shrieks of Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

A parakeet inspected a hole in a plane tree, but decided that it was too small.

A Long-Tailed Tit paused for a moment in a tree beside the Serpentine.

There were several Redwings in the trees on Buck Hill ...

and others rushing around around in the grass looking for worms.

The Little Owl came out of her hole in the horse chestnut near the Queen's Temple.

Both Peregrines were on the barracks tower, but as usual too far apart for a decent picture.

A passing horse gave a Black-Headed Gull a nasty meal.

'Who says I can't go swimming?'

Coots are not much loved, so it's good to know that someone cares for them.

A Mute Swan was annoyed about something. They look their best when they're angry.

A pair of Gadwalls dabbled in the Serpentine as a Moorhen passed.

Looking across the lake at the Winter Wasteland ...

... I was struck by its resemblance to the upper part of Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights ...

... but on the whole I think I'd choose Bosch's garden, especially for its splendidly large owls.


  1. Bosch loved birds, and he was great at getting the anatomical details exactly right. Not only that, he might have been prescient: some say that he depicted a Kiwi in 1516, way before Australia was discovered. Killjoys say it must be a Snipe, though.

    I certainly love Coots. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled Coots yearning to eat for free". They are remarkably well behaved and almost meek in the clip.

    If gulls didn't exist we'd have to invent them. I do not despair that they may yet come to rule the earth.

    Love to bits all of today's videos of the small birds in slow motion!

    1. I've looked at that alleged Kiwi before and don't know what to make of it -- maybe a junior all-purpose demon of a vaguely aviform nature. It's not at all like a Snipe.

      But I love Bosch's wonderful collection of a Goldfinch, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Kingfisher, a Hoopoe, and less distinct glimpses of a female Mallard or Gadwall and maybe a Jay above the giant Tawny Owl at bottom left.

      If this garden is wrong I don't care. It's so much more fun than the standard pale dreary depictions of heaven. As William Blake wrote of Paradise Lost, 'The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it.'

    2. It's a puzzle that top bird above the Tawny Owl as there's a better Jay elsewhere in the painting. Maybe it's a Siberian Jay or Great Grey Shrike. Jim

    3. PS. Or Wryneck. Jim

    4. There's a picture of a Siberian Jay with its crest up
      here. Quite similar.

    5. Yes I think that's the best bet. Jim