Thursday 2 December 2021

The Mistle Thrush was in the rowan tree on Buck Hill, along with a Magpie and a Jay. All were looking a bit unsettled, as the thrush was clearly thinking of chasing the other two out of its private tree. The Jay's nerve failed first.

A Blue Tit was too small to be considered a nuisance, and went on looking for insects.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits passed through the trees at the foot of the hill.

A Wren hopped around in a patch of weeds.

A female Chaffinch perched on a twig in the Flower Walk.

Tom was at Miller's Wood, where he got a pleasing close-up of a Goldfinch. As usual there were none of these common birds in the park, but I saw several in the street on the way home.

An interesting picture by Tom from the same place: a Blue Tit ignored a much larger Great Spotted Woodpecker. It would have been a different story in the nesting season, as woodpeckers peck away the wood in front of tits' nest holes to eat the nestlings.

A Jackdaw looked out from a pile of logs beside the Long Water.

A Carrion Crow shone in the sunlight on the railings.

A crow drank from the Serpentine. I only filmed this ordinary scene because the background was pretty.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was also thirsty.

A Common Gull was getting the pure white head of its breeding plumage very early.

A Grey Heron was nearly out of its depth in the Long Water. They can swim if they have to, but very awkwardly.

Sixteen Cormorants stood at one end of the island ...

... and a seventeenth was by itself at the other end.

A pair of Moorhens searched for insects in the gaps between paving stones at the edge of the Serpentine.

A pair of Egyptian Geese harmonised with fallen leaves under the trees near the Dell.


  1. I don't think I have ever seen a Heron swim. Do they swim like owls, using their wings as fins?

    Poor Jay had nothing to do with the far stauncher Magpie and even more redoubtable Mistle Thrush.

    The Blue Tit may be small, but it sure is pretty, especially in harmony with the background. Today's pictures are really good at showing how background is done!

    1. I've only seen a Grey Heron swimming once. It swam like a Moorhen, making underwater bicycling movements with its legs -- but much less effectively and progress was slow.

  2. An impressive number of Cormorants. I only had one at Ruislip the other day-presumably they'd taken most of the larger fish.

    Love the autumnal shot of the Egyptian Geese against the leaves. Colour co-ordination!

    1. Our Cormorants generally stay until early in the new year, since it takes them a while to hoover up all the fish. Sometime I haven't seen yet this year is a gang fishing together, sometimes moving up the lake in a line abreast like a police search so that nothing evades them. We now have enough for this manoeuvre, as there are more than 20 on the lake as a whole.

  3. I witnessed this gang manoeuvre myself last year at Ruislip- fascinating to watch!

    1. And very effective. Fish scared away by one advancing Cormorant go within the reach of another.