Friday 4 September 2020

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull yawned widely after enjoying a heavy breakfast ...

... leaving the scanty remains to the Carrion Crows. A young crow tried to get a share and was rebuffed.

The Grey Wagtail was busy in the Dell, appearing both on the small waterfall ...

... and in its usual place on the edge of the pool.

It's remarkable how well it's camouflaged, with its bright yellow underside echoing yellow lichen on the concrete. People looking over the edge simply don't see it until it shoots out to catch a midge.

A Long-Tailed Tit posed prettily in a dead tree beside the Long Water.

Two of my regular customers on the path along the east side of the water: a Blue Tit ...

... and a Magpie, one of a pair.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks from the west end of the island have now reached the stage where one begs from each parent. The tolerance of the parents for their incessant squeaking and prodding is astonishing.

The Black Swan was looking expectant, but in vain. All I have for it is sunflower hearts, which it doesn't like. It has been spoilt by visitors feeding it unhealthy white bread.

But, having fed the Mallard with three ducklings sunflower hearts, now I can't get within fifty yards of their place behind the boathouse railings without them trotting out to be fed.

There are still plenty of Red-Crested Pochards on the lake. The last count I did turned up 14 of them but I think I missed some under the bushes on the Long Water.

Some of the female Tufted Ducks have quite large white patches on their forehead, which causes people to suppose they are Scaups. However, a real female Scaup has a vermiculated pattern on its back, and Tufted Ducks are plain brown.

I didn't get any worthwhile insect pictures today, but here is a striking picture by Tom that he took during a visit to the Cape Verde Islands earlier this year. I've managed to identify it as a Carpenter Bee of a Xylocopa speies, but there are lots of species.

This doesn't seem to compute unless F is infinity and D is 0.


  1. I went to the park today for only the second time since lockdown. I enjoyed seeing the black swan again. There were 4 house martins over the Round Pond. I also saw the grey wagtail in exactly the same places where you saw it.

    1. House Martins are trickling through on their way south, and Paul saw some Swallows too a few days ago. I saw a Hobby twice today, but too far away for a picture.

  2. The trotting ducks look so funny and endearing. Perhaps they know looking dorky and adorable will get them fed more often.

    Does the Black Swan truly dislike sunflower seeds or has it become spoilt for choice?

    1. After this Black Swan had got the idea of being fed -- which took a while, as it was completely feral when it arrived -- it tried sunflower hearts once and ate a few, but wouldn't take them after that. The previous Black Swan which stayed here for almost a year was very partial to sunflower seeds.

  3. Always nice to see the Grey Wagtail & as you say can be overlooked until some sudden movement.

    That is a smart Xylocopa bee Tom had on the Canaries. I've seen a very similar looking one in Kazakhstan where I often used to lead tours, though never managed to find out the precise species. Also regularly saw the more familiar all dark X. violacea which occasionally turns up here, though I've not seen it in the UK. Out of interest the flower the bee is on is Aptenia cordifolia, one of the so-called dew plants. I've seen quite a bit of this on Scilly & in coastal Cornwall.