The female Tawny Owl surprised us by appearing when we had thought she had already settled down in her nest. She perched in the beech tree next to the nest tree where her mate was asleep on the usual balcony. She was rather restless, looking around and preening herself. Here she scratches her face with a large feathery foot ...
... and here she shakes down her feathers.
There was no sign of a Little Owl despite two visits to their chestnut tree. However, Ulrike reports having seen both of them here at dusk on the 26th, when it was too dark for a photograph.
There was a good attendance of small birds at the leaf yard, hungry after a frosty night. There was a pair of Chaffinches; this is the male, hunkered down on his twig in the low position characteristic of Chaffinches.
He took food from my hand, but we have not yet managed to tempt his mate out of the bushes.
There were three Coal Tits and three Nuthatches. Here one of the latter peeps warily from behind a twig before dashing down to the fence to seize a pine nut.
Long-Tailed Tits are not interested in humans; nor are they particularly wary of them, and often come quite close. Here one of them hangs upside down from a twig while prospecting for insects.
There were several Mistle Thrushes harvesting rowan berries from the trees on Buck Hill.
They were joined by a couple of Blackbirds and the usual flock of Starlings. The berries have now been eaten about three-quarters of the way down from the top of the tree, and will last only a few more days.
One of the photographers I saw yesterday was still devotedly taking pictures of Cormorants next to the bridge.