Thursday 7 February 2019

The Egyptian Geese at the Henry Moore sculpture were out with their new brood. It was hard to count them, but in some pictures I could see seven goslings.

The Red-Crested Pochard and his Mallard mate rested on the ornamental rock in the Long Water. There is only one rock, and it is much in demand.

A Cormorant at Peter Pan was backlit by the weak sunshine.

But the Cormorant which I photographed on Tuesday with a bit of plastic stuck on its neck has now got into a worse tangle, and probably can't eat because of the constriction around its neck. It was perched on a chain, looking absolutely miserable, and I will spare you the photograph. I rang Hugh the Wildlife Officer. He thinks that the only way to save it will be to wait till it gets too weak to escape and then net it from a boat, and if he succeeds he will look after it till it recovers. But it will be touch and go.

The Great Crested Grebes at the island were building a nest in the gap between two floating wire baskets. This is quite a good place, well sheltered and not too demanding for their small nest building skills, but it's much too early for them to start and they will probably abandon the attempt.

A Moorhen foraged in a plant pot at the boat hire platform.

When a Black-Headed Gull lands on your head, you just have to smile.

The fearless Pied Wagtail ran around the shore at the Lido swimming area.

The usual flock of Redwings was on the Parade Ground, though they were too far away for a good picture.

The three Fieldfares were also there.

The feeders at the Leaf Yard have been filled up at last, and attracted both Nuthatches ...

... the two Coal Tits ...

... and a Robin.

A Jay waited impatiently for a peanut.

The usual Wren was hopping around in the Flower Walk near the path from Queen's Gate.

While I was photographing it, I found a Dunnock looking for bugs in the flower bed, and picking up grit from the path.

There was also another Long-Tailed Tit on the path. This is becoming a common sight. Birds need grit for their digestion, but I am wondering whether there might also be female birds trying to get limestone to provide calcium for eggshells. In that case they are in the wrong place, because the chippings in the tarmac path are granite, but birds are not geologists.


  1. Fascinating video of the Long-tailed Tits. Have never observed this, though I generally see them in situations where there isn't a path like this. Don't even recall one on the ground. Great stuff.

    Liked the expression of the woman with the gull on her head!

    1. They seem to be on the ground very often now. I'm sure I would have noticed if they had done this so much in previous years. Puzzled.

  2. I love the picture of the girl and the gull. It's lovely and cheering.

    Poor, poor Cormorant. I am sure you all will do all you can to help it. It is just a matter of its allowing itself to be helped.

    Long-Tailed Tits are becoming a mystery! I am stupefied by their behaviour. Who knows what gets into those pretty, fearless heads.