Tuesday 31 January 2023

Join the party

Starlings are gregarious birds. When a few start splashing on the edge of the lake the others fly down to join in the fun.

A female Blackbird stared suspiciously from a patch of dead leaves where she was looking for worms.

There was nothing suspicious about the stare of a Coal Tit in the Flower Walk. It wanted a pine nut, now.

The female Chaffinch in the corkscrew hazel flew out several times to catch pine nuts in midair.

Long-Tailed Tits passed through the bushes near Peter Pan.

Joan Chatterley photographed a Wren in a bush near the Dell. They're odd creatures. Some dash into hiding the moment you look at them, others seem completely unconcerned. 

The Grey Herons are back in their nest on the island -- but I'm pretty sure this is another false start and they won't get around to breeding for months.

The other pair of herons have shown no interest in nesting. One was on the moored pedalos, the other keeping a lookout from a boathouse roof, ruffled by the wind.

A row of Common Gulls preened on the buoys at the Lido.

The Little Grebe was diving with the Tufted Ducks in the Italian Garden fountain ...

... when its old friends the Gadwalls flew in, saw it, and instantly swam over to join it.

The dominant Mute Swan pair were in the next pool. They can't see down to the lake from here, and didn't notice that another pair had intruded and come most of the way up the Long Water. But of course they will and the invaders will be sent packing.

This Egyptian Goose has been alone on the lawn between the Dell and the Rose Garden for several days. It seems to be perfectly healthy and is walking around and grazing. Perhaps it just wants to be alone.

A picture from Alcalá de Henares taken by Tinúviel's husband Emilio: White Storks occupy the ruins of the archbishop's palace.

Alcalá was the birthplace of Cervantes. Its university is where the gigantic Complutensian Polyglot Bible was compiled, with Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin texts all on the same page, and published in 1520.


  1. Delighted to hear that the Gadwalls are back. The Little Grebe looked rather lonely yesterday without them

    1. I think the Gadwalls were lonely too. They mad ea beeline for their little helper.

    2. Does the Little Grebe still like the Gadwalls' company though? I wouldn't appreciate all that prodding. Jim

    3. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to mind at all. It's much quicker than a duck, so it never actually gets prodded.

  2. Storks make any building more livable and endearing.
    Glad to see the Gadwalls haven't deserted their little helper!

    1. How I wish we had storks making giant messes on our roofs. Greatly preferable to archbishops in any building.