Tuesday, 21 January 2020

A small flock of Redwings were feeding under the trees beside the lake, finding plenty of worms in the sparse goose-nibbled grass.

In a few days the last remnants of the Winter Wasteland will have been hauled away and we should see lots more Redwings on the site, as well as Fieldfares, Mistle Thrushes and Pied Wagtails.

A Dunnock dashed around under the tables at the Lido restaurant, searching for insects attracted by crumbs spilt by the visitors.

A Jay at the bridge waited for its usual treat of a peanut.

A Jackdaw foraged in dead leaves near the leaf yard.

A Carrion Crow  found a promising-looking plastic bag and took it up into a tree to open and rummage through.

Ahmet Amerikali found and photographed a Goldcrest here.

The female Little Owl near the Henry Moore sculptures is being particularly helpful at the moment, out of her hole and posing on branches, so she deserves two pictures taken at different times today.

I went to look at the oak tree where the Albert Memorial owl was yesterday and didn't find him, but there was a pair of Rose-Ringed Parakeets claiming a hole.

The neat round edge of the hole shows that it was made by a woodpecker, probably the Green Woodpecker that has bred here in earlier years. The parakeets are making a thorough nuisance of themselves by stealing the holes of the native birds, and their raucous cries drown out the songs of others.

Another noisy invasive species: a pair of Egyptian Geese were making a terrible din in a tree not far away.

A Mallard drake in the Italian Garden looked particularly shiny in the sunlight.

Shovellers have darker green heads that pick up the light less strongly, but overall their plumage is more striking.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were looking for a nest site in the willow next to the bridge. There are several good places but they will have to fight the Coots for them.

After yesterday's picture of a Black-Headed Gull eating an orange, here's one with a date. Not surprising that they enjoy these sweet things.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee gathered pollen in a gorse blossom.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he got an excellent close-up of a female Kestrel.


  1. Yay, a Bumblebee! Is it the first of the year?

    I'm torn. I don't know whether I should root for Coots or for Grebes.

    Of course she merits having her picture taken at all possible times! Who could deny her star quality?

    1. There have been bumblebees on sunny days all through the winter, especially in the Rose Garden where there are year-round flowers. I'm unsure about their hibernation arrangements but a bit of sun seems to wake them up.

      Grebes every time.

  2. Thought you might be interested in this article Ralph.


    1. The Guardian fearlessly follows the footsteps of William Boot: 'Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole.' I try hard not to do this.

    2. That sounds like satire. Please tell me that it is, or else all feeling for English tone is gone from me!

    3. It's from Evelyn Waugh's satirical novel Scoop. William Boot is a harmless journalist who writes excessively picturesque nature notes for a newspaper. But there is another William Boot who is a war correspondent. The first Boot is mistaken for the second and sent out to cover a bloody civil war in Africa where, although completely out of his depth, he accidentally succeeds in getting an exclusive story.