Sunday 13 January 2019

Everything's happening too early this year. A Long-Tailed Tit was already gathering feathers to line its complicated nest. This excellent picture and the next two were taken today by Ahmet Amerikali.

He got a fine shot of a Treecreeper. They appear suddenly almost anywhere in the park, quiet, well camouflaged and easy to overlook.

A Cormorant caught a perch under the marble fountain in the Italian Garden.

Cormorants can hold on to surprisingly thin branches.

A detail of this picture shows why. Unlike gulls, geese and ducks, they have proper working back toes, so they can grip the branch.

The Grey Herons in the bottom nest on the island were lying down cosily side by side.

In the water below, the Great Crested Grebes from the west end of the island displayed.

They have been trying unsuccessfully to build a nest at their end of the island, and want to move to the east end where there are suitable bushes overhanging the water. But there is already a pair of grebes here, and one of them was stationed under the stern of the small electric launch, looking menacing.

Three pairs of Gadwalls passed by together. Usually here you see them in isolated pairs, soberly dressed, respectably married ducks.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull preened his immaculate feathers. He is losing the dark winter streaks on his head and going into pure white breeding plumage.

An Egyptian Goose was making a racket on the Little Owls' tree near the Queen's Temple.

The owl looked out briefly but didn't like the gusty wind and went in again.

One of the Robins at the leaf yard sang from a twig, challenged by another Robin singing in the next tree.

The fearless Wren in the Rose Garden, which I have already videoed, was back, dashing around on the bare earth inside the shrubbery.

A Carrion Crow dug in the grass near the Dell, evidently finding small larvae or something similar, but they were too small to identify.

The woman who paints pigeons had turned up with some of her flock. I think only the middle one of these three is painted, and the others are in their natural colours. She has been here before, and there's a picture from 2017 by Virginia here.


  1. Those are extremely pretty pigeons, well worth a show. I know next to nothing about pigeons, but they do look a bit like pouter pigeons.

    It's entirely too early for Long-Tailed Tits to be building their nests. On the other hand, they do have an internal barometer we don't have. Maybe they know better.

    I like respectably married ducks best of all ducks!

    In the parlance of today's youngsters, I live for the Robin videos.

    1. There are sinister mutterings about really cold weather arriving in February. On the other hand, any attempt to forecast British weather as much as 24 hours ahead is usually crowned with failure.