Tuesday 10 January 2023

Bright birds (and non-birds)

Abigail fed a Great Tit on her hand in the Flower Walk.

Another picture from Colombia by David Holland: a Multicoloured Tanager.

But if our own Blue Tit were found only in Colombia, people would be exclaiming in wonder at its bright colours. Picture from the Flower Walk by Duncan Campbell.

Richard Oxborough, who provided so many good pictures of our Little Owls, is in America and sent a picture of an American Kestrel in Nevada, brighter in colour than our native Kestrel.

Another picture by Duncan: everyone's favourite Little Grebe lurking in the irises.

Joan Chatterley sent pictures of a recent visit to Rainham Marshes: a Redwing ...

... a Fieldfare and some Goldfinches in the same tree ...

... Snipe and Lapwings ...

... and a Pintail pair in driving rain.

It's always baffled me that there are so few Goldfinches in the park. Sometimes you see one or two in the plane trees between the Rose Garden and Rotten Row, or in the alders between the Italian Garden and the Buck Hill shelter. Yet there are plenty in the surrounding streets twittering from television aerials, and once I saw at least 200 in Brompton Cemetery, making such a racket that I noticed them 200 yards away.

Finally, a remarkable picture from the greenhouses at St James's Park where tropical plants are taken in to overwinter: not a pair of fantastic birds but Strelitzia flowers.


  1. I hope you are recovering from what sounds like a nasty landing Ralph . The birds are surely missing you and so am I .

  2. Until my eyes focused I almost thought it was a pair of grey crowned cranes!

    Always delightful to see Lapwings.

    How is the recovery process going along? I thought I'd ask publically so that we don't force you to reply to multiple queries about your health privately.

    1. Thanks for asking. Getting better but the broken vertebra is tiresomely painful and pills have only a slight effect. I can now concentrate well enough to read light stuff, thank goodness.

  3. Good to hear of some improvement in your condition, Ralph, though sounds like a long road ahead!

    Gorgeous Strelitzias!

    Many years since I last saw an American Kestrel- they are so distinctive!

    Beautiful tanager- there are so many species in South America.

    1. Thank you. I managed to totter out today, feeling wobbly after nine days off my feet, and feed the small birds in the Flower Walk, a great pleasure.