Saturday 5 October 2019

The young Great Crested Grebes at the island have started hunting along the shore, where they can find small aquatic creatures that are easier to catch than fish. Their parents are still feeding them, not helped by Black-Headed Gulls constantly waiting to grab the fish.

The Grey Heron in the Dell was busily picking small creatures, maybe insect larvae, out of the plants at the edge of the stream.

A Carrion Crow enjoyed melted ice cream in a cardboard tray that had held a waffle. The counter is out of sight of the staff in the Bluebird Boats snack bar, and the crows know this and constantly raid it.

There is now a constant mob of crows at the leaf yard, in addition to the thronging Rose-Ringed Parakeets and the seething mass of Feral Pigeons.

The Jackdaws don't stand a chance against them, and are now lining up in the trees along the lakeside path where they can be fed without interference.

A Magpie shelled a peanut in a tree in the Dell.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits and Blue Tits dashed along the edge of the Long Water.

A Blue Tit from the shrubbery near the bridge followed me along the path ...

... which is something that the Coal Tit has being doing for some time, taking more and more pine nuts and hiding them in cracks in bark.

There are two Robins in the shrubbery here.

It's never the wrong season for Feral Pigeons to start courting.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee worked over the many little flowers of a flower head of Verbena bonariensis. (My ignorance of garden plants is now helped by a useful smartphone app called PlantNet, which will identify them by comparing your own pictures with its online database.)

A Minke Whale has been seen in the river near Rainham Marshes. This distant and indistinct picture is all I have so far, but Tom is trying to get a better one.

There was a Beluga in the Thames last year, which stayed for several days. Update: it's been seen again and is now thought to be a Humpback Whale. Still no clearer picture.


  1. Is it possible that the park authorities will ban bird feeding as they did in Trafalgar Square on nuisance grounds? You will have to feed your small birds surreptitiously somewhere away from the leaf yard.

    1. They want to, but in practice it's unenforceable. Feeding the parakeets is now a serious tourist attraction.

  2. If authorities were to ban small bird feeding I'd stage a revolution. The Bastille fell for less.

    What a lovely video of the happy Bumblebee. It doesn't know that it shouldn't be able to fly, and yet it does.

    Oh, a Minke Whale! That is quite an extraordinary sighting! (I love Belugas almost as much as I do birds).

  3. Scientists have now grudgingly admitted that bumblebees can fly after all, by shedding vortices from their wingtips. Descartes would have been pleased.