Sunday 10 March 2019

The young Grey Heron often seen in the Dell had caught a large carp.

After a good deal of pecking and adjustment it just managed to swallow the fish. I've uploaded the full four minutes of video I took. When I went past again a quarter of an hour later, the heron was still standing there waiting for the carp to gradually go down.

It was another very windy day. The small tree on the island with the heron nest on it was bent over and the nest was sloping, but heron nests are strongly built and the chicks were safely hunkered down in a corner.

The thin layer of air at ground level was almost still, and a Pied Wagtail was able to run around undisturbed in its search for insects.

A Great Crested Grebe dozed peacefully while being bounced about on the choppy waves.

The rough water didn't stop four Coots from having a fight.

A Moorhen walked stolidly up the edge of the Serpentine in spite of being doused by the breaking waves.

But they were too much for the Feral Pigeons, which weren't trying to bathe. That's when the pigeon eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull catches them, so he was ashore wondering what to do.

I'm sure this resourceful bird managed to get his lunch.

A Redwing was remarkably successful in finding worms on the Parade Ground.

But it wasn't this Mistle Thrush's lucky day. First a Redwing, then another Mistle Thrush, got worms that it had overlooked.

There was also a single Fieldfare.

The Mistle Thrushes' nest in the Dell is still in good order.

A Carrion Crow enjoyed a bath in the marble fountain in the Italian Garden.

A Jackdaw in the leaf yard waited to be given a peanut.

One of the Nuthatches here came to my hand three times. They are moody birds, sometimes quite tame and sometimes very shy.


  1. Dear me, I was sure the carp wouldn't fit, but fit it did, and down it went. That was almost heroic of the Heron. At the very beginning the Heron appears to think that the carp must still be alive? If those are merely exploratory pecks, I shudder to think what full-force spearing stabs are like.

    I always wondered what technique allows thrushes and blackbirds to detect worms. Thet must sense them, because I don't think they can see them.

    I envy Grebes their uncanny ability to doze off anywhere, despite wind, waves, and noise.

    1. Perhaps the heron was playing with its food, like a cat.

      Thrushes must have a good sense of smell, I think. Blackbirds can find sultanas in grass and tangled undergrowth. And I'm sure they can detect vibration with the whiskery feathers on their faces, called vibrissae, which work just like a cat's whiskers.