Thursday 18 February 2021

A young Herring Gull found a fallen branch which was too large to be picked up and used as a toy, but amused itself by pecking it and pushing it about.

Another had the traditional gull toy of a rotten old conker it had fished out of the lake.

Agile Black-Headed Gulls can fly so slowly that only a light breeze is needed to allow them to hover, in this case above someone feeding them.

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

A Starling looked out between the spiky seeds of the sweetgum tree near the Diana fountain.

A female Chaffinch lurked among the twigs of a bush near the bridge.

This is the Robin near the bridge that comes to my hand. It only ever takes one pine nut at a time, and flies back every time it wants another. Most Robins have worked out that it saves effort to pick up four or five at a time.

A Coal Tit perched on a twig above the feeder in the Dell.

A Long-Tailed Tit which had visited the feeder had a preen after its meal.

Someone threw some little star-shaped biscuits on the ground. They disappeared in seconds.

A Coot was making a nest under the collapsed willow tree near the bridge.

A pair of Shovellers fed under the parapet of the Italian Garden.

A Tufted drake stood as tall as he could to impress a female.

Recently I said that the Egyptian Geese seemed to be adapting to the northern seasons and no longer breeding in midwinter. Jim Roland sent me this picture, taken a few days ago in the snow, of a pair in Golders Hill Park which had done exactly that. The three goslings are the survivors of a brood of ten, and the poor little creatures didn't last long.


  1. I saw a picture on Twitter of some new Egyptian goslings in St James’s Park

    1. The breeding strategy of Egyptian Geese is Pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap.

  2. Thank you for the lovely portrait of the Black Headed Gulls; their flying skills are indeed amazing. Joyful to stand beneath them, when they do that.

    1. I was accidentally standing beneath a pigeon this morning, and what it did wasn't joyful at all.

    2. I believe you. Hasn't happened to me with a Black-Headed Gull.

  3. Child protection services ought to remove any winter goslings from their Egyptian parents. I mean it.

    That the Gull should fish out a rotting conker to play with seems quite deliberate. I am yearning for the day when some stupendous electronic device allows us to communicate with birds. I'd like to ask the Gull why it likes conkers and things that roll.

    Lovely colours in the Starling picture!

    1. Gulls have invented the wheel. Only their weak little feet hold them back from driving around in limousines while we skulk meekly at the roadside.

    2. Don't know why, but I picture them driving Panzers and crushing everything that doesn't give way!