Friday 31 March 2023

Lovely weather for ducks

It was a day of heavy rain. A Gadwall wasn't in the least inconvenienced.

It was also windy. A Moorhen walking downwind got its feathers disarranged.

A wind allows Mute Swans to take off with less effort, and they often use blowy days to do a bit of flying, just to keep in practice.

The reed bed east of the Lido has been trodden down in a way that suggested a swan was nesting, and today one could be seen sitting there. A hole has been cut in the net to let the swan in, which makes the whole idea of the net slightly pointless.

Its mate was eating the young leaves in a nearby willow.

The Grey Heron was again sitting in the lower nest at the west end of the island, raising slight hopes that they might be serious about breeding.

One of the young herons was on the island having a scratch ...

... and the other was on a wire basket giving a good impression of Big Bird.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was with his mate by the Dell restaurant.

A Pied Wagtail ran about the tarmac by the small boathouses.

Boats get covered with bird droppings which attract insects, so they are a favourite hunting ground for both Grey and Pied Wagtails. You won't be surprised to hear that this video wasn't shot today.

This Great Tit on Buck Hill calls to me every time I go past, expecting some pine nuts. He got quite a few ...

... while I was trying to get a clear shot of a male Blackcap singing in a hawthorn.

A Wren in the Flower Walk gathered moss for a nest.


  1. I guess the female swan must be having a headache and self-medicating with willow leaves.
    That Big Bird impression is worth an oscar. Perfectly done!

    1. I'm told that willow leaves are fatal to rabbits, so they must contain quite a lot of salicylic acid. Odd, because rabbits can eat deadly nightshade unharmed, so they must tolerate large doses of atropine.

    2. It's similar with vultures. They can and will digest botulinum toxin, but diclofenac will poison them.

    3. Ordinary ducks can also tolerate levels of botulinum that would kill us.