Monday 15 February 2021

Today I did the monthly bird count for the BTO Wetland Bird Survey. As I had thought, there was a record number of Gadwalls: 44 in the whole park. This female was in the Italian Garden.

The ice on the Round Pond is melting, and no longer strong enough to support a medium-sized duck.

Coots were fighting on a clear patch.

A Coot was building a nest in the reeds near the bridge.

The Grey Herons, encouraged by the milder weather, were back building nests on the island. The sitting heron has endured the frost and was still in place at the west end of the island. They take it in turns to incubate the eggs, allowing time to go fishing.

Common Gulls chased one with a bit of bread, causing the bird to drop it ...

... and it was caught by another. There is also a Lesser Black-Back at the bottom of both pictures.

There was a Peregrine on the tower. As I approached it took off and circled high above the east end of Hyde Park.

A Long-Tailed Tit perched in the corkscrew hazel in the Dell.

A Great Tit preened and scratched on a tree in the Flower Walk.

The milder weather started Goldcrests singing at the bridge ...

... and in the Rose Garden.

A Wren sang one phrase beside the Long Water, but they haven't worked themselves up to full song yet.


  1. Watching Coots is like watching a saloon fight in a western movie. Free for all, everything goes (they'd be quite at home in the Tendo School of Indiscriminate Grappling, a martial arts school from Ranma 1/2).

    Very, very glad to see the goldcrests and the wren. They at least made it.

    1. Thank you for introducing me to the Tendo School of Indiscriminate Grappling. All is revealed in a hilarious article here. I particularly like the Embarrassing Photo-Fu technique, in which an opponent is disabled by showing revealing photographs of him or her to bystanders.

    2. Ranma 1/2 was hilarious and fun to watch, although the manga was much better than the anime. My old sensei used to laugh uproariously with some of Happosai's and Genma Saotome's techniques, especially when the latter turned into a panda.

      If you haven't watched them, there were two OVAs by the same author (Rumiko Takahashi) called Mermaid's Forest and Mermaid's Scars that were chilling and endlessly fascinating. They are based in Japanese folklore about the consequences of eating mermaid flesh.

    3. Thanks for the information. Will have a look for these. And also, if I should find mermaid steak offered in my local supermarket, I shall take care not to buy any.

  2. How long were the 2 coots fighting for? They were really going at it.

    1. I watched them for 5 minutes and they were still at it when I left. Most unusual for a Coot fight to go on so long.