Wednesday, 15 February 2017

A Coot was building a nest in a silly place, on top of the wire baskets by the bridge. These are only just below water level, so the bird had managed to shove some twigs into the mesh to anchor the nest.

But this is a place where Cormorants come to fish, and two of them were dashing and splashing around the nest, almost upsetting it once, and catching one fish ...

... after another.

The Coot continued to ignore them, and went off to fetch a plastic bag to reinforce the nest. You can see one of the Cormorants passing at the top of this picture.

There was also action farther along the shore, in the hunting ground of the pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gulls. They had bagged another victim and were sharing it ...

... when a young Herring Gull intruded and had to be chased away.

While they were away, a Carrion Crow saw its chance and started eating the pigeon.

It was sent off, but cheekily came back and pulled the male gull's tail ...

... briskly jumping away before the gull could retaliate.

The Grey Herons in the upper nest on the island were annoyed by their neighbour coming too close and staring at them.

Turf laying on the Parade Ground has now advanced to where the Redwings were, and there was no sign of them. They liked this spot because it was under trees where they could fly when alarmed, and are unlikely to be seen on the open ground farther up the hill. I think they've gone for good.

But when the workmen took their lunch break, at least ten Pied Wagtails started hunting on the freshly laid turf. This one got a larva.

The Kingfisher was still in the willow tree near the Italian Garden, but perched in the middle of a tangle of branches where it couldn't be fully seen.

The pair of Coal Tits in the Rose Garden were coming down to the feeder.

A Wren was hopping around a tree behind the Queen's Temple.

This Jay on the east side of the Long Water has a new trick. It comes out to ask for a peanut, then pretends it hasn't seen it and follows you along the path. You give it another peanut, which it collects and then goes back to get the first one.


  1. No luck IDing at least the second fish? Jim

    1. Yes, it's a perch. Note the spiny dorsal fin, not looking dorsal in this picture because the poor creature is twisted round.

  2. What a superb series of pictures capturing the interaction between the crow and the gulls. Wonderful! I've seen pictures of crows and ravens pulling no less than a golden eagle's tail, too.

    If Coots were given intelligence in addition to their many gifts (of persistence, courage against impossible odds, aggresion, determination and sheer pluck), they and not humans would rule the world!

  3. I've seen our crows pulling the tails of all kinds of creatures, from herons to large fierce dogs.

    Probably Coots do rule the world. Just read the newspapers.

    1. This may be relevant:

      If this is not advanced planning I don't know what it is.

    2. What fun the crows were having. The music editing is also exceptional.

  4. Haha, cheeky crows and clever jays. Two of the qualities that make corvids my favorite birds.