Tuesday 12 February 2019

A visit to the Parade Ground, where new turf is being laid at an amazing rate, is best timed during the workers' lunch hour, or when the operation is at the top end of the ground. This allows the shy winter thrushes to come down from the trees at the bottom of the slope.

There were plenty of worms for a Fieldfare.

A Redwing was also doing well.

A Mistle Thrush watched from a tree before coming down to join them.

A Pied Wagtail searched for insects on the other side of the path. The absence of grass allows it to run around freely.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker probed for insects in a horse chestnut tree on the west side of the Long Water.

A Carrion Crow beside the Serpentine amused itself by tearing up a piece of paper and dropping the bits into a puddle.

A Magpie in the Rose Garden found a strange white worm, which it swallowed.

A female Kestrel perched in a nearby tree. I have never seen a Kestrel in the Rose Garden before. This may be the one previously seen on Buck Hill.

Both Peregrines were on the barracks tower.

There was plenty of activity in the Dell, including a Goldcrest flitting about in a silver-leafed conifer.

Below it, a pair of Long-Tailed Tits courted in a corskscrew hazel bush. The female was soliciting the male to feed her.

There were mealworms in the feeder above, which Long-Tailed Tits like, so it was an easy task for him, except that the local Robin, perched on the same bush, kept chasing all the other birds away.

Both the Nuthatches in the leaf yard came down to take food.

There was also a very brief glimpse of a Treecreeper, just long enough for a hasty shot.

A Starling's iridescent plumage shone beautifully as it chattered on a dead branch.

Another Starling struck a pose on an ornamental plant at the Lido restaurant. The pink background is formed by the out-of-focus stems of a dogwood bush.

A Cetti's Warbler could be heard today in the place near the bridge where they were before until driven out last year when the whole area was laid waste by the park management. A very welcome return.

The pair of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls that are usually offshore from the restaurant terrace called to each other. They were with a first-winter gull that looked like a Lesser Black-Back, and seemed content with its presence. Could it be their offspring from last summer? I haven't seen it with them before. Usually other gulls get chased off by this dominant couple.


  1. So many different kinds of Thrushes! They are so difficult to see here unless one visits specific places in the countryside to look for them.

    Just when I thought Long Tailed Tits couldn't get more adorable, boom, cute overload.

    I wonder what the purpose of Starlings' chatter while on their own is. Sometimes they look as if they are talking to themselves to amuse themselves. Or perhaps they are plotting for world domination.

    Speaking of world domination: we haven't had a Coot in a long time. I trust they are not all suddenly becoming reasonable!

    1. The Coots are in excellent order. But they only get photographed when they're nesting or fighting or doing something strange.

  2. Who said wild creatures aren't capable of good and evil? Damned eco-vandal crow.

    Looks like one of the adult gulls is saying: "Great to have you back round today, my how you're growing up". Jim

    1. It was surprising to see that young Lesser Black-Back. The adults have been together for years -- it's the pair that often display to each other at the Lido -- but this is the first sign of offspring I've ever seen.