Friday 18 January 2019

The Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculpture appeared in her usual lime tree. She has been shy and elusive recently, but today she stared down confidently enough, and soon lost interest and turned away.

The owl near the Queen's Temple was out, making the most of the weak sunshine.

There was one Peregrine on the barracks in the early afternoon.

When I went back later there were two, but the light had faded too much for a picture.

One of the pair of Dunnocks at the southwest corner of the bridge was hopping around in the shrubbery, and eventually posed on a branch.

While I was trying to get this picture, a Great Tit ...

... and a Blue Tit were hopping around trying to get my attention and some food.

They did get fed, of course.

Long-Tailed Tits clustered on the nut feeder in the Dell.

Blackbirds were foraging in various parts of the park.

Someone dumped a takeaway container of cooked rice on the lake shore, and there were many takers. A Carrion Crow couldn't resist pecking a couple of Coots before it settled down to feed.

The Great Crested Grebes who nest every year at the east end of the island are building a nest, the tatty platform in the foreground of this distant shot.

This definitely excludes the grebes from the other end of the island, who have been trying to move into this area.

The Little Grebe I photographed yesterday was in exactly the same inconveniently distant spot.

Usually Little Grebes move around the edge of a lake, so you can wait for them to approach a place where you can get a decent picture. But this one seems to like staying under the dead branch.

A Cormorant climbed gingerly up a swaying chain to get on to a post.

They can jump up from the water, but often miss their footing and fall off humiliatingly.

Young Mute Swans have a habit of tearing about madly as part of the process of washing.

The odd couple of a Red-Crested Pochard drake and a female Mallard were back in the Italian Gardens fountain pool, after spending yesterday somewhere else.

The pair of Gadwalls in the next pool have been here constantly for several days.


  1. Hi Ralph,

    Today they felled two twin & tall beautiful Cedar trees ( or some other type of conifer ) up on the hill where the learning centre is. They even had plaques on them:/ I don’t understand it’s sad. I am not an expert but they didn’t look ill....I hope it wasn’t some kind of vanity again.

    1. I can't explain the actions of the park management, which often seem odd and sinister. You would have to talk to the people at Gristwood and Toms to find out why this happened.

    2. Do you mean by the Lookout, the pair of something cypress-like? Jim

  2. I must admit I am almost heartbroken about it. They were one of the most beatiful tree sights there and home to many birds. I would not be surprised if someone complained they were blocking the light ( as if it mattered? Nobody lives in the learning centre. ) when I went early this morning one was already gone and by evening both were gone. It’s just disgusting unless there is a legit reason of course. Sorry to be angry here.

  3. Sorry to read about the felled trees :-( Doubtless the human race has it coming sooner or later.

    On a happier note, bathing swans are always a sight to see. Maybe the youngster is discovering the power of its wings and trying them to full capacity, like an airplane in a wind tunnel.

    Of course the Crow could not forbear having a go at the poor, strangely meek Coot. The young Herring Gull's whine was disconcerting though. It is large and powerful enough to lord it over everyone assembled, and yet it appears to be content with whining and begging.

    No dobnt the Little Grebe does it on purpose.

    1. I don't think that was a begging whine. There was another young Herring Gull just out of the frame, and I think it was a social call of some kind.

  4. I noticed that the crow was ringed, as was one of the coots. Don't think I've ever seen either one of those birds ringed before?
    Never understand municipal tree management anywhere.

    1. I don't know about the crow. But Bill Haines is ringing Coots and Moorhens on the lake to try to find out about their movements. And these are wider than you might suppose. One Coot was seen over 100 miles away.