Wednesday 23 December 2020

As also happened yesterday, the female Peregrine was in her usual place on the tower of the Household Cavalry Barracks when she was joined by the male, who sidled up to her. She didn't like this and gave him an intimidating look which caused him to fly away. Perhaps he should have brought her a pigeon ...

... of which there are plenty under the tower.

Four Grey Heron nests on the island were occupied. This is the third one, just to the west of the previous two, a small nest that was started last year and abandoned. It needs a lot of building up.

The fourth nest is right at the west end of the island, again left over from last year but quite a substantial structure that will serve as it is.

The shrubbery near the bridge always has at least one Jay in it waiting to grab a peanut from my hand, and any number of Great Tits expecting pine nuts. 

Female and male Chaffinches from the family in the holly trees here.

A small group of Long-Tailed Tits visited a feeder in the Dell which is stocked with mealworms.

A pair of Carrion Crows enjoyed a KFC takeaway.

The Hyacinth Macaws were having their daily outing.

A Herring Gull investigated a strange orange thing. It didn't know what it was and left it. I couldn't work it out either. It was folded in four and quite hard, and looked as it is was made from melted sugar. 

After a Herring Gull had finished with a crayfish it caught, a Coot picked out the last remaining scraps.

The Goldeneye was in his usual place at the east end of the Serpentine.

In the Italian Garden, a Tufted Duck ...

... and a Mallard had a power shower under a fountain. Wet feathers are easier to preen.

There is a foxes' earth under a tree at the foot of Buck Hill, just across the path from the Henry Moore sculpture.


  1. It must be a scary proposition to have an spouse that is a larger than you are by a third, is usually in a very foul mood, and has the wherewithal to make her displeasure felt. Poor male Peregrine.

    I imagine Jays and Great Tits at the shrubbery will make you run the gaunlet daily!

    1. It's not an unfamiliar situation in the human world.

      But there is no gauntlet more pleasant to run than one composed of hungry birds, when one has the means to satisfy their hunger.

  2. That apparent pugnacity is partly down to the female, at this time of the year, being motivated to have the tiercel demonstrate that he has the wherewithal to provide for her and a brood of three or four later in the year when she is on eggs/tending young and her ability to hunt constrained by having to stay very close to the nest. His hunting ability can make a real difference in breeding success, so she has a pretty valid reason to be demanding.

    There is also a real benefit to being large and aggressive when potential threats to eggs and young need to be driven off.

    1. They haven't got around to nesting yet. Wish they would soon.

  3. Indeed not. But the process of renewing the pair bond/courtship should kick off in earnest very soon.

  4. Went out a few days ago, there was a lady, Julia-if I remember correctly, feeding pine nuts to the tit population. She also got a jay pick some peanuts from her hand-which finally gave me a chance to take a few nice shots of it (been trying to shoot a jay for a while). A long-tailed tit also flew in, but disappeared as fast as it came.

    1. Yes, Julia is one of the few humans whom the birds trust absolutely.

      With Long-Tailed Tits you need to ascertain which direction the flock is moving in. Although individual birds zap around at high speed, the flock as a whole moves only at walking pace, making it fairly easy to photograph birds.