Thursday, 22 January 2015

The killer Lesser Black-Backed Gull was trying a new hunting technique. It walked down to the bottom of the sloping roof of the Dell restaurant and tried to creep up on a line of Feral Pigeons perched on the edge of the roof and looking away. As soon as the gull neared the edge there was an explosion of pigeons, and it didn't catch one this time. But it is interesting to see how inventive this hungry bird is in hunting an agile prey that even Peregrines have some trouble catching.

 On the Archery Field, some Herring Gulls were using the well tried technique of dancing to bring up worms.

It seems strange that Lesser Black-Backed Gulls haven't learnt this trick, but I have never seen one dancing.

Two Black-Headed Gulls were performing their curious display of holding their wings akimbo and mewing at each other. I think it is a ritual of rivalry, an attempt to establish dominance, rather than a display between mates, as it usually results in one of the gulls flying away.

The workmen in the Long Water have not done anything for two days, but their equipment is still in the lake. Now that things are quiet, all the usual birds have come back, and this Great Crested Grebe was looking for fish amid the floating debris of reeds and twigs.

Apparently Tony Duckett wants to build a stretch of stone wall along part of the Long Water to attract wading birds, but this ambitious plan is still waiting for the go-ahead. The old tern raft, which never attracted a tern, has been removed and a new and better one is being built.

The Scaup is still on the Round Pond. He is diving busily, is not shy of people on the shore, and seems to have settled in.

Grey Herons are not diving birds, so this one was scrupulously obeying the regulations. They can swim if they have do, but it is an awkward performance.

Two Nuthatches were waiting for me in the leaf yard.

And the male Tawny Owl was in his usual place on the horse chestnut tree, enjoying a sunny spell.

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