Thursday 15 October 2020

 Four Carrion Crows in the Italian Garden enjoyed a brawl. They are two parents and two young, so it wasn't a serious fight.

Magpies and crows raided ants' nests -- two separate nests, as they are not inclined to share.

A pair of crows kept Magpies off a table at the Lido restaurant while they investigated a paper bag which might have contained something edible.

Two Magpies were busy in a sweetgum tree.

I wondered whether they were eating the seeds, but a closer look at one of them shows it pecking at something else, maybe a horse chestnut seed.

The male Little Owl on Buck Hill called from a lime tree a short way up the hill from the Italian Garden. It's a tatty old tree full of holes and broken hollow branches, a good place from an owl's point of view but impossible for getting pictures though I went round it carefully with binoculars.

A Robin in the Rose Garden perched inside a bush. Its mate was in another bush just the other side of the path, and they were ticking irritably at each other because they have split up for the winter.

A male Chaffinch was in a holly tree near the bridge.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits and Blue Tits went past the Italian Garden.

The male Mute Swan here has chased the female out -- lucky I kept the gap in the fence open for her to leave. He lunged at the resident pair of Egyptian Geese.

A Black-Headed Gull perched on the strange blue landscape of a pedalo.

Even adult Herring Gulls can't resist playing with dead leaves. Perhaps they like the colour.

A Grey Heron preened on a fallen tree in the Long Water, pointedly ignored by a Pochard.

A top view of a Shoveller from the parapet of the Italian Garden. Ducks can see things directly overhead, useful when there are predators in the air.


  1. They're teaching the kids to fight? Prudent parents, crows.

    The sublime indifference of the Pochard in the vicinity of the most fearsome beak in existence...

    Sooner or later the Little Owll will appear.

    1. I don't think that crow fight was in any way formal instruction, but even family horseplay can be useful. All the most intelligent birds -- corvids, parrots, gulls, play a lot and must learn from it.

      We may not see a Little Owl till the leaves fall, though I am doing my best. The established owls were easy to find even among the leaves, as we knew their favourite branches. Now the quest has to start again from scratch.