Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Jackdaws at the Round Pond have really settled into park life now, sauntering among the milling gulls and pigeons and grabbing food from them. This one was only a few feet from a small boy running wildly around when it came over to demand a piece of biscuit.

Probably by next summer they will be as familiar as the Richmond Park Jackdaws, which land on the café tables and steal people's snacks, with some success.

The Starlings are well into that kind of behaviour, but this bunch at the Round Pond were just trying to take each other's wireworms.

One of the seven young Egyptian Geese was exercising its newly grown wings.

This is the dangerous time for Egyptians. Their new primary feathers are quite heavy. If they have been fed too much protein by people giving them bread, the wrist joints of their wings will overgrow and sag, and the wingtips will turn down and out in the characteristic 'angel wing' deformity. It never seems to affect the whole brood, though: some have a lucky escape.

The thrushes have finally dispersed from the rowan trees on Buck Hill. Some Mistle Thrushes were in their usual hunting ground in the middle of the grassy area, looking for worms.

And a Song Thrush was in a bush at the bottom of the hill.

Today a Coal Tit came to my hand to be fed. But it wasn't one of the pair in the leaf yard, it was in Hyde Park beside the Rima relief, where I have never fed a Coal Tit before.

Perhaps it is a survivor from last year, when there were plenty of familiar Coal Tits, and remembers me. They fly all over the park and may turn up anywhere.

There are just four Great Crested Grebes on the lake, two on the Serpentine and two on the Long Water. This one has caught a perch near the Italian Garden.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual place in the nest tree, above the entrance to the nest hole.

It does seem that the female owl is now staying inside the nest tree. I shall keep an eye on the 'balcony' lower down on the north side of the tree, where she sometimes comes out either with or without her mate.


  1. Jackdaws are very handsome birds. There are quite a lot at Savill Gardens, Windsor Great Park, where I visit often. They patrol the outdoor seating area near the cafe. Today I had a good number of red kites flying over my walk into the village. The low morning sun lit up the undersides of their wings and bodies, bringing out the russet hues. Beautiful. Grebes are my all time favourite birds, though, so I am pleased to see one in today's blog - thank you.

    1. I agree with you about grebes. They are endlessly fascinating.

    2. Once did a series of posts for Facebook friends listing every Grebe in the world, with photos. There were a great number, all utterly enchanting. And don't get me started on Grebelets. Surely one of the wonders of nature :)