Wednesday, 5 February 2020

The sunshine brought out two Little Owls, one in the lime tree near the Henry Moore statue ...

... and the other in the oak near the Albert Memorial.

A Carrion Crow waited on the raised shutter of the Boat House snack bar for the the stallholder to be occupied, so that it could fly down and steal a sachet of sugar from the counter.

A Redwing mingled with the Starlings feeding on the Parade Ground.

In addition to the existing Grey Heron nest in the alder on the south side of the island ...

... there is now a new one in a blossoming tree.

On the north side, a heron was picking twigs to enlarge a small nest.

A pair of Coots have made a nest on a fallen poplar branch at the side of the waterfront at Peter Pan.

Coots are generally skilled and successful nest builders, but this one has been trying to attach a nest to a branch of the dead willow tree for several days and it still hasn't succeeded.

A Moorhen tried to knock the Polish Black-Headed Gull T8YT off a post, but the gull is made of sterner stuff than most and refused to budge.

A bathing Greylag Goose flung itself upside down.

The Black Swan on the Round Pond made its usual 'ee-oh' contact call followed by low tuba-like honks of defiance at various birds that were in its way.

A picture by Joan Chatterley of the young Black Swan in St James's Park shows that its peculiar two-tone neck hasn't changed much in the past few weeks.

Kamal can now slalom perfectly through 100 cones twice in quick succession. He's spent years working up to the magic number -- but now he has his eye on 120.


  1. That's unbelievable. So much fine motor control when he must be so tired in the second round. Unbelievable.

    Is the Black Swan's neck dotted in white? In other pictures it looked like light brown, but now I wonder. Maybe there is a melanin problem?

    To be born a Coot and to be useless at nest building. The definition of disappointment.

    1. Kamal had scored a 98 and a 99 before the two successful runs. I think his legs were on fire, but he is dedicated to this peculiar task.

      I don't think the Black Swan has a melanin problem. This is the awkwardness of adolescence, and we are in the front row watching it.

      Awful to be a Coot and no good at being a Coot. Maybe I can find some forked spiky twigs to throw into the water and help it

  2. P.S.: I had never heard a Black Swan before. It didn't even register at first as a bird call!

    1. Mute Swans are well named. Other species are quite vocal, and our Black Swan is almost melodious.

  3. The Little Owls certainly look to be appreciating the sunshine- as was I !

    Hope the Herons are prepared for Sunday's storm!

    1. It'll test whether the nests are properly made. A few years ago one collapsed, killing two young herons.