Thursday, 20 February 2020

It was only a short visit to the park today, as it started to rain torrentially in the middle of the day. But there was time to visit the Redwings on the Parade Ground ...

... and see a Carrion Crow ...

... and a pair of Greylag Geese strolling among the daffodils.

These remain uneaten, as all parts of the plant are poisonous. People occasionally mistake daffodil bulbs for small onions. They produce nasty symptoms, but there are no records of fatalities. I've seen squirrels digging up all kinds of bulbs, but they may be able to choose which of them are edible.

A few Long-Tailed Tits could be seen around the lake.

These are now going around in pair, rather than the big winter flocks, for it's time for them to start the long process of building their complicated nests.

The Tufted Ducks are also pairing up. They have bred here in the last two years, and some of their young definitely managed to avoid the hungry gulls in 2018.

Great Crested Grebes are almost always seen in pairs, as they mate for life. This is the pair at the east end of the Serpentine, now both very dark. The start grey and darken with age, unlike us.

Another Grey Heron nest was occupied, at the east end of the island. But so far only one nest actually has eggs in it and a permanently sitting bird, which was just visible again today.

A close-up of a heron on the shore.

Magpies bathe for a short time ...

... come out on to a branch to shake themselves dry and preen ...

... and then repeat the process several times.

A Mistle Thrush preferred a puddle as a bathing place.

A Blackbird had a frantic splash in the little pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

A pair of Mallards just stood on the edge of the waterfall, enjoying the sensation of water running over their feet.

To cheer up today's grey pictures, here is one sent to me by Tinúviel showing a flock of Black-Tailed Godwits in her native Extremadura in the west of Spain, a wonderful place for birds.

This and the next picture were taken by her bird guide Jesús Porras, whose attitude to wildlife is intrepid to say the least.


  1. To quote Roy Batty, I have seen him do things you wouldn't believe...

    It's amazing how swiftly Blackbirds can vibrate their wings. The movement is almost a blur.

    How old are those Grebes then? They look sublimely fit and youthful.

  2. Not sure how old those grebes are. Certainly 8, since they have been there since I started the blog. I have known another pair on the lake live to at least 10.