Friday 23 October 2020

Too many people like to go to the park and chuck large bits of bread at the birds, which always results in a fight, quite apart from bread being bad for birds anyway. It's impossible to stop this, and often the people get more aggressive than the birds when challenged.

A young Herring Gull which had managed to get a bit of bread from the squabbling mob in the previous video was harassed by Carrion Crows trying to snatch it, but repelled them easily.

Two teenage Mute Swans posed beautifully side by side.

A Pochard preened at the Vista, showing the fine vermiculated pattern of its feathers.

This is the Mallard I photographed yesterday and speculated about why it seemed to be so late in coming out of eclipse. Conehead 54 commented that it might be an intersex bird. This can happen to a female if its ovary (only one of two ovaries develops) is destroyed by disease. It then acquires some male characteristics.

Canada Geese flew past a red tree.

A pair of Egyptian Geese washed side by side in a quietly affectionate way.

Coots expressed affection by eating each others's fleas and lice.

A Coot checked a bread bag to see if there was anything left in it.

One of the teenage Great Crested Grebes was fishing near the island. They're still having to work hard to get enough to eat.

A Grey Heron on top of a willow tree fluffed out its feathers and shook itself in the manner of a wet dog.

A Jay waited patiently to be given a peanut ...

... and so did a Carrion Crow, though that calculating stare they give you makes you think that they're planning some dreadful prank.

A Blue Tit looked out from an Australian laurel bush near the Big Bird statue.

A Robin sang quietly among the shiny leaves.


  1. I can't get enough of Robin singing.

    I wish the Canadas were flying over a maple tree. That would be right and proper.

    Don't swans have a knack for striking very harmonious and elegant poses? It's almost a genetic gift.

    I wish I could hear all about the dreadful pranks that crow was planning. They are always up to something mischievous and interesting.

    1. Those swans are really at their best. It's a shame when they go plain white.

  2. Several swan experts have said that feeding bread to swans should not be discouraged, especially in winter, as this was causing many to starve. One added that there was no evidence of bread causing angel wing in swans. I also wonder what evidence there is that omnivorous birds, with their hardier, shorter digestive systems, would have a problem with fresh granary and wholemeal breads that are a 'healthy option' for human adults. And always a pleasure to tune in. Jim

    1. Against this. Hugh the Wildlife Officer attributes several deaths of swans in winter to their crops being crammed with bread that choked them.

      There seems to be no conclusive evidence on the cause of angel wing, and I am sure that there is at least some hereditary contribution -- if it affects one wing it's always the left one.