Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Two Robins and a Wren hopped around on the path in the Flower Walk, picking up grit and maybe the odd insect larva.

Another Wren on a path, this time beside the Serpentine in the sunshine.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits went through the trees above it.

A male Chaffinch lurked in a bush near the bridge.

A Dunnock sang in the holly tree above it.

I only got a few seconds of video of him singing. Many birds don't mind having my big telephoto lens pointed at them because it has a deep lens hood that shades the lens. But on the bridge camera I use for video the lens is plainly visible, and birds feel uncomfortable with this big glass eye staring at them.

Stock Doves were moving around in the Little Owls' tree near the Albert Memorial. There was no sign of an owl.

But Tom was at the Elmley National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey, and got a picture of a Little Owl peering out of a ruined wall where it had a hole.

Little Owls will happily nest in holes in masonry, and even in rabbit burrows like their American cousin the Burrowing Owl.

A mild winter is bringing trees into leaf early, and the leaf buds on this one are large enough to make a satisfying meal for a Wood Pigeon.

There were no Redwings on the Parade Ground because the returfing operation had three tractors ploughing and harrowing the soil near their usual place, followed by a mob of gulls. But they'll be back when things quieten down.

A Grey Heron sat in the nest on the south side of the island. There are definitely eggs now.

A young Herring Gull lurked under an outside table at the Dell restaurant, eyeing a bowl of chips on the next table. It made a pass to grab them but was fended off.

So far in the park we haven't had gulls grabbing food off occupied tables, as far as I know. But the habit is widespread elsewhere, and it looks as if it's spreading here.

Another young Herring Gull played with a plastic buoy, fascinated by the bright colour.

A Mallard washed enthusiastically in the Dell.

A Mute Swan did the same thing on a larger scale on the Serpentine.

A mob of Coots gathered at the edge.

Of course the Moorhens in the Italian Garden can't resist climbing on the exposed ironwork.

Another good picture by Tom from yesterday's visit to Valentines Park in Ilford, a Little Grebe still in winter plumage.


  1. Looking forward to the first gull go get into the habit of snatching food from unsuspecting stranges. I so hope Pigeon Killer takes up the idea too.

    Perhaps Moorhens practice parkour in their free time, just as Coots practice muay thai when they are bored.

    1. If the Herring Gulls really do take up food snatching, it's going to be a serious problem. There are two restaurants with open terraces, and half a dozen snack bars so that people are stuffing their faces just about everywhere.