Tuesday 2 February 2021

A Song Thrush was in full voice near the leaf yard, though it's a pity about the noise from the machinery, a busy place at this time of year with dead leaves being piled up and composted.

This is the male of the pair of Coal Tits at the bridge, shyer than his mate but he can be induced to come down to the railings to take food.

The Long-Tailed Tits at the feeders in the Dell have become easy to photograph, but that's no reason to stop taking pictures.

The same with the Robin that perches on the bench in the Rose Garden.

The birds in the park are usually not interested in citrus fruit, but segments of an extra sweet mandarin orange got a cautious examination by one Carrion Crow, and enthusiasm from another crow and a Coot.

Sweet corn is a popular food with the waterfowl -- Greylag and Canada Geese and Mute Swans here. And of course the inevitable Feral Pigeons butt in.

A small girl picked some grass and threw it into the water for a Greylag Goose, which happily ate it.

A Herring Gull got a chapati. They can't complain about having a monotonous diet.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull chased a young Herring Gull off his patch.

The female Peregrine was on the barracks tower in the morning.

The Grey Herons' nests on the north side of the island were all empty. One heron stood on the gate. There is going to be a lot of stopping and starting before they nest properly, though elsewhere nesting is in full swing.

The fluctuating number of fish in the lake may have something to do with the herons' delays here, but the fact that there are still Cormorants on the lake suggests that there's still enough for them to eat and feed their young.

The Coots' nest on the post at Peter Pan was smaller than it was yesterday. Coots' nest that are not on solid foundations always subside -- this one is balanced on a chain -- but the rate at which this is going down shows that the pair didn't get the foundations right. They are unusually incompetent for Coots, which are usually skilled nest builders.

A female Pochard left the flock on the Long Water and came on to the Serpentine for a quiet time.

The Red-Crested Pochard trio were bustling about in the Italian Garden as usual. The new Mallard drake does look rather odd with the lack of the usual dark brown front.


  1. It is a sad business to be born a Coot and to be bad at nest-building. If it is also meek and clumsy at fighting for added measure, it'd add insult to injury.

    We haven't seen the Little Owls for some time. Can they at least be heard, or have they moved somewhere else in the park?

    So happy to hear the Song Thrush's bright and happy song.

    1. A Little Owl has been seen a couple of times recently to the west of the Italian Garden, but I haven't had any luck so far. Maybe the coming of spring will start it calling and make it easier to find before the trees come into leaf. Nor have I had any luck with the owl near the Round Pond, which I have heard calling several times but never been able to see. These owls are presumably the offspring of the original three pairs that arrived in 2012, one of which was still alive and breeding on Buck Hill last summer.