Sunday, 17 May 2020

Carrion Crows like to wash, shake themselves dry and preen a bit, and then repeat the process several times. It seems that this is a more effective way of washing out parasites. Magpies do the same.

The birds in the park don't seem to like citrus fruit much -- though there must be birds that do like it somewhere, or why would the fruit be so brightly coloured? Anyway, this crow clearly enjoyed picking buts of orange pulp off the rind, and challenged another crow that wanted to butt in.

Many birds like apples, which people bring in to feed the Rose-Ringed Parakeets. A Starling was enjoying one ...

... until a crow landed on a branch above it. This was near the Starlings' nests in the shelter on Buck Hill and they felt threatened, and several of them perched on the next branch and scolded it.

A Mistle Thrush was scolding another crow near its nest, managing to utter a loud rattle in spite of having a beak full of what looked like blueberries.

Later I found more blueberries on the ground, and obviously someone had been feeding these to the birds. People have very odd ideas of what to give birds. Here is a Feral Pigeon bemused by an offering of sweetcorn and peas, though it soon started eating them with a will. Much better than bread, anyway.

A Young Pied Wagtail was on the Lido jetty again, looking for insects.

A Grey Heron looked carefully at the algae in the Long Water, hoping to see a fish that thought it was sheltered from view.

The young heron from the nest at the island reached out to grab some unknown small red object.

It has a lame leg, but this doesn't seem to be broken so there is a good chance of recovery.

A heron on the boat platform had a good scratch.

A Cormorant standing on a pedalo lost its footing on the smooth plastic and had to flap to avoid falling into the water.

The Red-Crested Pochard gang of five were cruising around, still accompanied by the Tufted drake that has attached itself to them.

A Mandarin drake wandered among the collapsed kerbstones at the edge of the water by Peter Pan.

A Honeybee browsed on an allium flower.


  1. My late lamented canary bird had the same system for washing. Odd because he never suffered from parasites in his life.

    Does the crow in the first video have some white feathers, or is it the luster of its plumage?

    Remarbably efficient, that Mistle Thrush!

    1. Yes, the crow does have a few white feathers. This is quite common in young birds living on a poor diet of scraps so that they don't get enough protein to support their fast growth. They can't produce enough melanin to stay all black. Flight feathers, which have to grow quickly to a large size, are particularly affected. Old crows may also suffer from fading.