Friday, 21 February 2020

One of the Coots nesting under the balcony of the Dell restaurant was trying to rebuild the storm-damaged nest, without much success as the wind is still brisk and the waves choppy. Strong winds are expected for another week, but Coots don't read the weather forecast.

A Moorhen checked a floating crisp packet for any remaining fragments.

This is the same Grey Heron nest as shown in yesterday's blog, still occupied. The heron looks heavenward as if for inspiration.

The Black-Headed Gull with ring number EZ73323 is still on its favourite post, but it's beginning to get the black head of its breeding plumage and will be away soon to its breeding ground.

Bill Haines, who ringed it, now has permission to put plastic rings on Black-Headed Gulls. These will be orange, not a colour seen on any other of this species that visit the park. I hope to find out from him where his ringed birds are seen in summer, which may be anywhere between Essex and St Petersburg.

There are still a few cotoneaster berries left from last autumn, and a Wood Pigeon was trying to reach the last ones.

A pair of Feral Pigeons had other things on their mind.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate have been together for several days now.

There is another pair on the Long Water. The one on the left is very pale even by the standards of English Lesser Black-Backs, which are lighter coloured than Continental ones, and might be a Herring Gull hybrid or even a Yellow-Legged Gull.

I think this is the pair I have seen several times on the raft, where they looked as if they were thinking of nesting. But at the moment a pair of Greylag Geese are in possession of the raft.

The Redwings were at the west end of their patch on the Parade Ground. One of them was so busy catching worms that it forgot it was being watched and came quite near. This sequence shows it catching six worms in three minutes.

I didn't get any worthwhile bird videos today, so here are some irrelevant ones.

The Household Cavalry drilled in Rotten Row while a party of officers looked on. For those puzzled by the title of this video, which sounds like a menial task in a sordid alley, the household is the Royal Household, and these are the Queen's mounted guards. Rotten Row was originally called the Route du Roi, the King's road, and was made in the reign of William IV to connect his new Kensington Palace to the old Whitehall Palace (which no longer exists). It has now been covered with sand to serve as a broad horse ride. The gorgeous but bizarre uniforms are not medieval. They were designed by the Prince Regent, a fancy dress enthusiast, in the early 19th century.

A curious method of dog training, if indeed it is training -- shining a green laser pointer for the dog to chase. It has to be green because dogs can't see red. It all looks quite serious, and the man is wearing a body cam. Puzzled by this.


  1. I confess that is a sort of training I have never seen in my life. Let's see if any dog people can solve the puzzle.

    At the risk of repeating myself, there is no pomp and circumstance like British pomp and circumstance.

    Great to see the extremely pretty Redwing's efficiency in wrestling worms almost longer than itself!

    I'm no gull expert, but isn't the lighter-coloured gull rather smallish for a yellow-legged gull? Ours are massive.

    1. I really don't know about that gull. It may be a Herring Gull x LBB hybrid. This is a stable mixture and the hybrids come out normal sized, unlike our hybrid geese which are usually huge. But also, individual gulls vary quite a bit. Pigeon eater is fully as large as a normal Herring Gull.

  2. he is really going to mess up that dog. laser pointers are a great way to break your dog's brain permanently.

  3. Thanks for that. And it's an Alsatian, a breed neurotic to start with. I'll probably see him again and will try to have a tactful word with him -- never an easy matter with dog owners.