Thursday 14 November 2019

One of the Little Owls near the Albert Memorial appeared in their old nest hole. This time it was the male, looking larger than usual because he was fluffed up against the morning chill.

Both the Peregrines were on the barracks tower.

A Robin in the Rose Garden ticked irritably at the neighbouring Robin against a background of autumn leaves.

One of the Chaffinches at the bridge came down on to the path.

The usual Coal Tit came out time and time again to be fed. She is now so confident that she took a pine nut from the hand of a complete stranger while he videoed her with his smartphone.

There has been a strange lack of Pied Wagtails in the park recently, but today one turned up on the clock tower of the Lido restaurant.

A sharper picture of a Starling washing than I managed yesterday. It needed an exposure of 1/2500 of a second to freeze the frantic motion.

Grey Herons are usually very shy birds, but the ones in the  park are so used to people feeding them that they have become quite bold. It's important NOT to feed them while they are nesting, as this can cause them to leave the nest unprotected.

The odd couple of the Herring Gull and the Lesser Black-Backed Gull were together again in the same place near the Dell restaurant.

So was their presumed offspring, still begging occasionally -- but to no avail, as its parents expected it to do its own scavenging.

A Black-Headed Gull was developing the dark head of its breeding plumage much earlier than usual. Actually the colour is deep brown, not black.

A Coot investigated a floating bread bag, sadly finding it empty.

The date on the package shows that it was expected to keep until 10 December. What on earth do they put into this stuff?

One of the two pairs of Gadwalls in the Italian Garden fed under the fountain, indifferent to being drenched.

I'm no good at insects, and don't know what this one is, hanging upside down on a gorse bush with remarkably long hind legs. It looks as if it has only one pair of wings and is therefore a kind of fly. I also saw one of these yesterday.

Update: Africa Gómez tells me that it's a Caddis Fly -- see comment below.

Tom was in Cambridgeshire, where he got a picture of some Whooper Swans returning from Siberia to somewhere in the fens.


  1. Hi Ralph, your insect is an adult Caddis fly, they spend their larval lives underwater in tubes they make with various types of detritus. The adults tend to be short lived and not to feed, instead mating and laying eggs. The group is closely related to moths and butterflies, and some times I have confused them with moths.

  2. To think that such large heavy birds should be able to wing their way all the way from Siberia. Makes one amazed at how powerful they are. Incidentally, the Russian name for their strategic heavy bomber Tu-160 is Белый лебед, "White Swan". It is every bit as graceful and yet powerful as its namesake.

    1. It's a characteristic of big heavy birds like geese and swans. They have to work hard to even get into the air, but once they are up they can go on and on. Perhaps the comparison here should be with Antonov rather than Tupolev.