Sunday 1 March 2020

A sunny Sunday brought crowds of people to the park. But also on Sunday the turf laying on the Parade Ground halts, and the Redwings can return to the best spot on the west side where worms abound. When this Redwing came down from the tree it made all these catches in less than two minutes.

A pair of Long-Tailed Tits looked for insects in the trees.

There were too many people on the path under the bridge for the small birds to make much of a showing. But a Blue Tit came out on the holly tree to be fed ...

... and a pair of Chaffinches emerged from under it.

A Robin beside the Long Water was expecting food ...

... while a Wren in the background loudly scolded some unseen threat, probably a Jay or a Magpie.

The magnolia in the Dell is coming into flower. It has two feeders on it, and a Great Tit ate a seed on a branch.

Every now and then we need a reminder of how gorgeous a Starling's plumage looks in the sunlight.

A Jackdaw sat down comfortably on the flat top of a post.

A Carrion Crow at the Dell restaurant found a pot of something it liked and went under the tables to eat it. I don't know what it was, because after a minute the crow flew away with it.

A pair of Grey Herons on the island were clearly very fond of each other.

But while there is a great deal of preparation here, still only one nest has a heron incubating eggs.

On the shore nearby, a very large young Herring Gull was effortlessly taking food from adult Herring Gulls and knocking them off posts. Size counts for more than seniority.

Another view of the Lesser Black-Backed Gull pair on the Long Water, showing the oddly pale plumage of what looks like the female. She may be a hybrid with a Herring Gull, but has the yellow legs of a Lesser Black-Back.

The pair of Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island were at their nest site behind the wire baskets. They haven't started building yet.

A Gadwall drake showed off his beautiful markings.

The small stream in the Dell is full of large carp. Before the original river was dammed to make the lake above here, there were carp ponds in its flat valley, made in the Middle Ages to provide Friday fish for the monks of Westminster Abbey, and these carp may be the descendants of the medieval ones.


  1. I wonder if the size of that Herring Gull is an oddity. It surely looks huge.

    No matter how aware one is of how beautiful a Starling's plumage is, it still always takes one's breath away.

  2. I was looking earnestly at that gull to see if it was actually a young Great Black-Back. But, as clearly visible in the picture, its bill isn't heavy enough for that.