Monday 12 October 2020

A Jackdaw stared down impatiently from a red oak, waiting to be fed.

A Carrion Crow looked up hopefully from the edge of the Dell waterfall.

This is the Grey Wagtail that is often seen in the Dell, seen here on the other side of the path looking for insects on the lake shore. The two recently filmed at the Lido are different birds. There may also be a fourth. We seldom get so many of them in the park.

It found a small larva.

This Robin in the leaf yard comes to my hand to take pine nuts.

The Goldcrests filmed yesterday were still jumping around together in the shrubbery near the bridge, uttering high-pitched squeaks. This pleasing picture of one of them is by Tom ...

... and so is a good view of a female Wheatear at Rainham Marshes ...

... and this video of a female Great Spotted Woodpecker probing a dead tree for insects.

The notorious Lesser Black-Backed Gull tried to creep up behind a Feral Pigeon, but was spotted.

Young Black-Headed Gulls find dead leaves endlessly fascinating. Autumn is a new experience for them.

A Shoveller washed and flapped its wings to straighten the feathers. It looks like a female but is in fact a drake still in eclipse -- females have brown eyes.

Other Shovellers are already in their showy breeding plumage. This pair cruised past the Vista ...

... where the standoffish Pochard drake hung around the edge, refusing to mix with the migrant Pochard flock.

The herbaceous flower beds in the Rose Garden are being dug up to put in the winter display. A Carrion Crow and a Magpie went over them looking for worms and insects. A Grey Squirrel seemed to be sniffing for bulbs, which they like a lot and never seem to be troubled by the poisonous ones.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee fed on the flowers of an arbutus tree near the bridge.

A lot of work is going on in the Italian Garden. The marble fountain is being cleaned before (I hope) being put back into operation. It has been off since the start of the Great Panic. It is made of beautiful white marble but cleaning it is slightly futile, as once it is working it gets black with algae in a fortnight.

Workmen on a cherry picker inspected the ornamental tower on the pump house. Behind the pretty Italian loggia on the front of the building there used to be a steam engine to work the fountains, and this was its chimney. It is decorated with glass 'jewels' like those on the later Albert Memorial, but when the steam engine was operating these would have been covered with soot.


  1. I am picturing the Bumblebee getting drunk on arbutus pollen (I don't think it's possible, but it's a funny image).

    It must be so exciting, discovering the world through the eyes of a young gull.

    1. Bees do sometimes get drunk on fermented nectar. In the case of bees that live in hives, they get attacked when they come home.

      Gulls do have fun when they're young, and I think that they retain some of the capacity to enjoy themselves when they grow up, though not as much as crows and parrots. It seems that only the most intelligent birds continue to play as adults.