Wednesday 2 March 2022

The rough courtship of Wood Pigeons

I thought these Wood Pigeons near the Albert Memorial were just fighting, but it turned out to be a male showing how tough he was. First he tried to jump on the female, who resisted, and only after that did he start the bowing and cooing of Wood Pigeon courtship.

While I was photographing the sole surviving rabbit under the Henry Moore sculpture ...

... a pair of Song Thrushes hopped across in the background ...

... and a Redwing flew on to a bramble stem.

It was the only Redwing I could see there, and the others were in their accustomed place on the Parade Ground.

A Blackbird foraged in the wet grass beside the Dell.

The nesting Long-Tailed Tit pair could be seen near the bridge ...

... along with a small flock of Blue Tits.

A Jay beside the Long Water hurled itself into the air to come and take a peanut from my fingers.

A Green Woodpecker climbed a tree on Buck Hill.

The male of the Pied Wagtail pair was in his preferred place just east of the Lido.

Most of the Common Gulls have left, but the one that likes the No Swimming sign near the Dell restaurant was still there.

The young Grey Herons on the island are almost full sized now and make a terrible racket when they want to be fed, which is most of the time.

A Moorhen looked out between the red stems of a dogwood bush.

The usual pair of Mute Swans were making a nest behind the boathouse railings as they do every year. Unfortunately it's a very exposed place and the railings provide no safety, and they have never succeeded.

These Egyptian Geese have the whole of the Italian Garden as their territory. The ornamental urns make a good place for them to survey their domain.

Another picture from Barruecos sent by Tinúviel: a Crested Lark.


  1. I think the gull does it on purpose. It's trolling us.

    The rough courtship of the pigeons reminds me of a quote by Alfred Hitchcock, who said he shot love scenes as if they were murder scenes, and murder scenes as if they were love scenes.

    1. Common Gulls are the gulls I don't know, simply because they aren't common here and there's little opportunity to observe them. With other gulls I can understand something of their hierarchy and moods and tricks, but not these. However, their style of flight is beautiful and it's a joy to watch a bickering bunch of them doing tight turns in formation.