Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A male Sparrowhawk flew over the Italian Garden and paused briefly in a treetop. Tom was nearer to it than me, and got a quick picture before it flew off.

A tractor was ploughing the Parade Ground during the immense returfing work, making the birds a bit skittish. But there were plenty of worms to be had, and the Redwings were hauling them up ...

... and a Pied Wagtail got one too. This is my second picture of one eating a worm, and I am still surprised that these little birds can pull up a full sized earthworm and swallow it.

A Blackbird had also caught a worm, but that's not news.

There was a distant view of a Fieldfare ...

... and a Mistle Thrush.

After months of absence, a pair of Chaffinches have appeared in the leaf yard. This is the male.

Chaffinches have been badly hit by the virus disease that causes scaly growth on their feet. This one seems perfectly all right, but it might be too much to hope that the virus has died out with the absence of Chaffinches.

Four Long-Tailed Tits passed through the bushes at the bottom of Buck Hill.

Two Goldcrests were in the same place, looking for insects in the catkins and chasing each other.

But this wasn't one of the big winter foraging flocks of tits and other small birds, and the Goldcrests stayed while the tits moved on.

The female Little Owl in the lime tree up the hill perched low in her hole and could only be seen from a distance.

The owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial came out in the afternoon sunshine.

The Kingfisher was in his usual place in the willow next to the Italian Garden.

A Wood Pigeon was eating leaf buds in the Rose Garden.

The approach of spring has made the dominant Mute Swan at the west end of the Serpentine even more obnoxious than usual, and he was amusing himself by chasing all the other swans in the area, one after another.


  1. nice to see the old winter visitors & the odd new one. i went to try to see the kingfisher today. was there about 2.30 & saw nothing despite waiting patiently & quietly. is there an optimum time do you think?
    Mark W2

    1. I think the Kingfisher's visits to the tree are random. He just goes round and round the Long Water. Also look at the bushes on the other side.

  2. thanks ralph. it amazes me that something so colourful almost like a tropical bird can vanish!
    Mark W2

  3. Muphry strikes again.... and a Pied Wagtail got one too?

    Engaging pictures as usual. How tiny the long-tailed tits' beaks. I never get to see them so clearly in real life.

    1. Fxied, thakns. The genus name of the Long-Tailed Tit, Aegithalos, means 'offspring of a goat', because Linnaeus thought that their faces looked like those of kids. He was looking at the northern subspecies with all-white heads, where the resemblance is greater.