Thursday 6 April 2023

Great Spotted Woodpecker at work

A Great Spotted Woodpecker searched for insects on a branch beside the Long Water. This is a female: males have a red patch on the back of the head.

A female Blackbird was doing the same in her own way in the morning drizzle.

A Mistle Thrush sang on Buck Hill, the first I've seen there for some time.

Three good pictures sent by Andrew Skeet: a Song Thrush ...

... a Chiffchaff above its nest in a bramble patch ...

... and a Blackcap.

A Robin perched in the corkscrew hazel bush in the Flower Walk ...

... and another foraged in a flower bed in the Rose Garden.

The weather improved later and there were people eating on the terrace of the Lido restaurant, allowing a Starling to seize a chip.

But it wasn't sunny enough to tempt the female Little Owl at the Round Pond out from the back of the hole.

The Grey Heron with the red bill was sitting right down in the nest on the island. I'm absolutely certain now that they have eggs.

The female Mute Swan nesting at the east end of the Lido now has one egg.

Her ultra-violent mate was cruising around menacingly, but the amorous pair of swans at the island were just far enough away to escape harassment as they displayed and mated yet again ...

and so was another swan enjoying a mighty splash on the north side of the lake.

The dominant swans on the Long Water have been very unenthusiastic about nesting, while those elsewhere are well advanced. At least today the female swan showed some interest in the island that was made specially for her.


  1. Who knows what goes on in that stubborn heads of them. I wonder if being so dominant may have a bearing on feeling less pressed to reproduce in anything but the best condition.
    I always wonder why she peeks from her hole like this. Is she peeking at you specifically, or is she usually peeping out to pass the time and she glances down when she sees you? (I know she knows you well).

    1. I think the female Little Owl just likes to keep an eye on the world in general from her safe place. She is almost invisible to the naked eye at the back of that hole, and even binoculars don't make her particularly visible. Photographs have to be adjusted quite a lot to bring up her face.