Thursday 24 October 2019

It was a very wet day, with steady rain increasing in force. The solitary Shoveller drake on the Long Water didn't care. But it is really time some more Shovellers turned up. Three of the four that arrived last month seem to have moved on somewhere else.

The Moorhen family in the Dell noticed Paul throwing peanuts to the carp in the stream, and trotted up the bank for their share. The young ones are now grown to full size, and are just beginning to get their adult red beaks.

Grey Herons are not at all waterproof, and get quite bedraggled in the rain.

Neither are Feral Pigeons, and this one on the terrace of the Dell restaurant looked absolutely miserable.

Others made the best of it and got on with their normal lives.

A Carrion Crow looked sombre on the back of a bench, but cheered up when given a peanut.

So did a Jay on the branch of a plane tree.

A Blue Tit was very wet indeed. But the hot fierce metabolism of a small bird will keep it going as long as it has enough to eat.

A Long-Tailed Tit manged to stay quite dry in driving rain ...

...and a Robin ...

... and a Pied Wagtail were hardly affected.

Song Thrushes positively welcome rain, as it brings up plenty of worms.

The camera I used for video isn't waterproof and had to stay in its case, so here are two recent clips taken in better weather.

The odd couple of a Red-Crested Pochard drake and a female Mallard are still together after several months, and the bond looks to be permanent.

A Cormorant gulped down a large perch after carefully turning it round to swallow head first. Other fish get swallowed so quickly that you don't get a chance to start the camera.

And here's a fine picture by Virginia of two Coots fighting. The aim is to get on top of the other and push it under water, and both are jumping up to try to get a high position.


  1. That's a wonderful picture of the Coots. They look like they are auditioning for a revamp of Way of the Dragon!

    I wonder what those mixed ducklings are going to look like.

    Poor things look miserable in the rain. But nothing can diminish the prettiness of a Long-Tailed Tit.

    1. There are some pictures of Red-Crested Pochard x Mallard hybrids on the web, and it has to be admitted that they are not elegant.