After yesterday's episode of the Lesser Black-Backed Gull catching a Feral Pigeon, we really didn't expect to see it again. But as we approached the Dell restaurant, there he was, bloody, bold and resolute, stalking pigeons on the shore. Camera ready, set to 1/2000 second just in case, and just as we arrived the gull ran and pounced again. This is the moment he seized his victim.
Having got a good hold, he wheeled round and trotted off to the lake to drown the struggling pigeon.
When he was in the water two Coots, seeing the struggle, decided to join the fight.
But the gull brushed them off, and soon there was a dead pigeon and his mate turned up to share it with him. This gull has been taking pigeons for about five years now, and has got very good at it. But I am surprised that so far none of the other Lesser Black-Backs or Herring Gulls has managed to copy it, as usually successful feeding behaviour spreads quickly among these intelligent birds.
A pair of Nuthatches came down to take food off the railings of the leaf yard. They were picking up pine nuts three at a time and bearing them off to a secret store.
But then a Jay came down, ate the remaining pine nuts and stared at me expectantly, wanting more. I gave it a peanut in the shell to keep it busy.
The male Tawny Owl was in the beech tree next to the nest tree, well hidden among the leaves. The first time I saw him it was raining torrentially, but when I went back the sun was out and there was a chance of a better picture.
The male Little Owl was also out in his nest tree, and had found a pleasant spot in the sun with a leaf to shade his eyes.