Wednesday 19 August 2020

It rained most of the time. The female Little Owl on Buck Hill was in the best shelter she could find in the lime tree, but looked bedraggled and miserable. Owls' fluffy feathers which give them silent flight are not waterproof.

Blackbirds welcome rain, which brings up worms.

Wood Pigeons are simply indifferent about it.

Some tables at the Lido restaurant have umbrellas, and a few people were at them. A Magpie waited for a chance to grab something.

Two Carrion Crows perched on a dead tree, doing their best to look ominous.

Another crow had found an exotic snack in a bin, a wrap with tomatoes, cucumber and pomegranate seeds. It didn't eat the cucumber.

At the Lido restaurant, a group of crows waited around the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull, who was eating a crayfish he had caught.

When he had eaten his fill they fought over the remains. They were briefly scared off by a passing dog, and when they returned one of the crows seized the crayfish and flew off with it.

One of the three young Hobbies was visible in the top of a plane tree.

I couldn't publish this video on the day I shot it, 7 August, because you aren't supposed to give details of scare breeding birds when they are nesting. But now the young Hobbies have been out and flying around for several days and the nest is abandoned for ever. Hobbies don't nest in the same place twice, and use the old nests of other birds, in this case probably a Magpie. The young bird was clearly restless and would like to be out.

This Grey Heron followed me around on Buck Hill while I was looking for the owl. Its usual feeders hadn't turned up because of the rain. I have nothing that herons like. I shelled a peanut for it, but it wasn't interested and flew off in disgust.

The enormous Coot nest at the Dell restaurant has failed again, probably predated. A heron was using it as a fishing platform.

A Moorhen chick stood on a patch of algae in one of the Italian Garden fountains -- they are so light and their feet so enormous that they can do this even when standing on one foot. It scratched itself with the other.

A bit of water helps waterfowl to preen their feathers, and a group of Mute Swans took advantage of the drizzle.


  1. Strange to see so many swans harmoniously doing the same thing in amiable togetherness.

    The poor Little Owl is clearly miserablef. I wish we could throw a little raincoat around her, poor thing.

    It must be quite a challenge to look properly ominous in all the drizzle, but they at least tried.

    Sad business, that the Heron should think that you must have a tin of sardines around!

    1. That place on the shore is the swans' common room. They seem to have an agreement that fighting must be done elsewhere.