Wednesday 25 March 2020

A courtship display by Great Crested Grebes ended not in the usual dance waving weed at each other, but in a 'cat display' where one bird flew off a short way and spread itself out to look as big as possible.  This may be just a display of being large and imposing, or it may be a mime of a parent carrying a lot of chicks on its back.

The Coots were fighting again next to one of the small boathouses.

A Cormorant preened on a post near the bridge.

A visit to the Round Pond to check on the Black Swan ...

... found the water inlet turned on, and as usual a Mute Swan enjoying the spray.

Swans are particularly fond of young willow leaves. The trees end up with their overhanging twigs neatly trimmed in a horizontal line at the height of a swan's reach.

The male swan of the Long Water pair, unable to build a nest on the ruined swan island, was making one in the reed bed nest to the Italian Garden. This is a desperately dangerous place, and a few years ago, before the island was made, his previous mate was killed there by a fox. I have asked repeatedly for the island to be repaired, but in vain.

The Egyptian Geese at the Lido are now down to two goslings.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was scanning the shore for his next victim.

The injured Grey Heron in the Dell now seems to be able to put a little weight on its left foot. We shall have to keep watching to be sure.

A bunch of Wood Pigeons feeding on a bit of birdseed jostled each other about and bounced some smaller Feral Pigeons out of the way.

A Wren sang on the corkscrew hazel bush in the Flower Walk.

A Robin stared suspiciously from a tree in front of the greenhouses.

But nothing can stare like a Little Owl. Again, this is the male in the lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture.


  1. Is the park a lot emptier now?

    1. Almost normal, but the streets are full of blowing tumbleweed.

  2. Gosh, the courting Grebes could melt even a heart of stone.

    God news that the injured Heron appears to be on the mend. It doesn't interfere with its ability to fish and hunt, I imagine.

    Coots continuing to amuse themselves by fighting gives an appearance of normalcy to the craziness we all are living.

    1. I could watch the courteous rituals of grebes for ever.

  3. I enjoy hearing grebes call to each other even if the sound isn’t melodious to our ears

    1. Perhaps nine different nuances of meaning can be discerned in their calls -- this number including the calls of chicks.