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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Post Xmas week in the Royal Parks

It has been a quiet week with lots of people on holiday, either trying to add a couple more species to there 2016 year lists, twitching what some hope will be a lifer Blue Rock Thrush or after the panel has debated may be dismissed as poss escapee, maybe not from the UK but possibly Europe. Others will be relaxing on places like the Isles of Scilly or places with full sun rather than blanket fog, which we have experienced several times in the past few days. Mind you we have had the odd glorious day with sun almost from dawn to dusk. 

I have been working for most of the Xmas period and have not seen anything out of the ordinary apart from a Stonechat in Richmond Park that may be a Siberian Stonechat. I did have an eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a Kingfisher this morning in Regent's Park, well through bins it looked like eyeball to eyeball.

Below are some of my favourite photos from the past week.

    Little Grebe with his constant shadow who's waiting to steal his food.

    It helps if you have a long stride.

    As with the Little Grebe BH Gulls shadow Coots
    They don't always get what they want and are bullied by Common Gulls

    This 1st winter Herring Gull has been present for a few weeks and was ringed at Pitsea 
    rubbish dump in Essex earlier this year.

    Crows are always causing trouble

    Grey Herons are taking up more nest sites and if the weather remains reasonable will 
    lay their 1st eggs in early January

    Bullied Mute Swans are reluctant to leave the park  because they cannot see any water 
    when they take to the air. These 2 were in the air for 10 minutes but returned to the park.

    Grey Heron flying over a frozen Heron Pond in Bushy Park
    Hybrid RC Pochard and Tufted Duck

    This pair of Stonechats try to warm up on a very frosty morning.

   A male Kestrel enjoys the warmth of the sun while a female looks for breakfast

   7 female Reed Buntings were feeding on the frozen heads of Common Reeds in the 
    Brewhouse Meadow area.

    This drake Wigeon was reluctant to land on a 2/3 frozen Pen Ponds.

    There was an impressive 95 Shoveler's  on the water
    If you saw this bird your first thoughts wouldn't be Common Stonechat

    I do love the feather detail of Cormorants

    This male Little Owl enjoyed a sunny day in Kensington Gardens