Sunday 3 February 2019

Carrion Crows mobbed a Buzzard high over Buck Hill. The dogfight continued for some time, and was still going on as they went out of sight in the distance. I was photographing this with David Element. He has a longer lens and got this more detailed picture.

The Little Owl was in her usual tree on Buck Hill. It's an awkward place for photographs, with twigs all over the place, and I only managed this shot by looking through the branches of an alder tree.

The Grey Heron nest on the south side of the island had been deserted for some time, and crows were seen in it, so it may have been predated by them. But today the pair of herons were back in it. This picture was taken from the far side of the lake.

The herons on the lowest nest on the north side were still on their nest, with one of them looking down hopefully into it.

A Black-Headed Gull played with bits of ice on the edge of the Serpentine. Gulls seem to find ice fascinating.

The Great Crested Grebe pair from the east end of the island displayed in front of their nest site.

A Cormorant caught several perch under the bridge.

The Shoveller drakes at the Vista interrupted their feeding to do the head-bobbing display which is a ritual of both courtship and rivalry between drakes. A mild squabble resulted.

I haven't seen this odd-looking Canada Goose before. It has normal black legs, so I think it's not a hybrid, just one with the white speckles that occur sometimes in Canadas.

The Redwings on the Parade Ground were chattering mildly in a tree.

Another picture of a Long-Tailed Tit on the ground, in the Dell. But this time I now why it was there.

The feeder above it was full of others, and it was waiting to pick up spills.

A Robin was also there.

The feeder contained dried mealworms, which both Robins and Long-Tailed Tits like. You can see the greasy marks the worms have made on the plastic. Some unknown person refilled my feeder in the Rose Garden with mealworms and I thought this was good, because the invasive Rose-Ringed Parakeets that hog the feeder don't like them. But surprisingly the Blue and Great Tits didn't seem to be keen on them, and the mealworms languished in the feeder for several days and eventually went bad, so I had to take the feeder away and wash it before I could refill it with sunflower seeds. This was actually a relief, because mealworms are smelly, and if you handle them the smell gets on to your hands, and from there on to your clothes, camera and everything.

A Coal Tit waited for a turn on one of the feeders in the Rose Garden.

A Blackbird in the shrubbery waited for her daily treat of sultanas.

This is what happens when you hold out a handful of sultanas when there are Starlings around. Picture by the intrepid Mark Williams, who must have got savagely pecked.

A Carrion Crow wouldn't budge until I gave it a peanut.


  1. Ralph is doing God's work. Sometimes I wonder, if birds had religious notions, what would they consider people who are so good to them?

    Those Starlings are like tiny velociraptores.

    1. There were lots of little birdlike dinosaurs. It would have been most interesting to see how they behaved.

  2. Dried mealworms are of rubbish nutritional value and most birds wont touch them. They are like eating cardboard.

    1. Just chitin, I suppose. Didn't know they were so useless.