Over the last week I've spent some quality time in Bushy Park with my camera - here are photos from two days (one of which was sunny, both of which were COLD). These pics were mostly taken around the Heron Pond.
As ever, the park's heaving with Ring-necked Parakeets, and their screeches provide a constant bizarre soundtrack.
The other green kid on the block. The open areas are full of anthills and so attract lots of Green Woodpeckers.
A confiding Jackdaw.
And another, this one showing some partly white wing feathers, a sign of poor nutrition. Lots of people feed bread to the ducks here...
This Jackdaw looks OK, though was not being allowed to land on the bridge. Most of the adult Black-headed Gulls now have full hoods and will be off to breeding grounds soon.
First-winter Black-headed, in b/w. To be fair the original photo was almost monochrome anyway.
Only a few Common Gulls were here, plus one or two Lesser Black-backs.
One of the rather few Feral Pigeons here. I am pretty chuffed with the sharpness of this pic (though there were 30 more that went in the bin).
Grey Heron, poised to pounce on a slice of bread.
DUCK! Or maybe DRAKE! Male Mallard coming in to land. All the wildfowl is getting frisky, lots of 'three-bird flights' going on.
These two seemed mellow enough. The photo is a reversal of those old field guide illustrations where the male bird would invariably be shown in front of the female and partly obscuring her. I'm subverting this trope even further by having the male completely out of focus.
It was not just the ducks feeling frisky. I am not sure exactly what this Coot hoped to achieve but the Red-crested Pochard was NOT into it. After it got away it spent several minutes bathing.
The result of a previous unconventional coupling, this Tufted x Red-crested Pochard hybrid was a startling sight. He seemed to consider himself to be a Tuftie and was consorting with a female Tuftie - clearly she admired his punky style.
Female RCP having a preen.
Male Gadwall. They are confiding here and it was nice to have some very close views, to properly appreciate those lovely scalloped and vermiculated markings.
Geese present were the predictable triptych of Canada, Greylag and Egyptian - all of non-native origin of course.
Little birds were harder to find and photograph. Here is a female Reed Bunting, one of at least three on the south shore of the lake. Also seen were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Redwing, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Goldcrest.
Oh yes, and Mistle Thrush.
And finally a couple of Red Deer stags. The rut long over and hostilities suspended, they are in their bachelor herds and several have dropped one or both antlers. The stag on the left here has broken off a bit of one of his but in a few months' time will have a shiny new set.
I take photos, and I also write and illustrate books. My books include RSPB British Birds of Prey (published by A&C Black), The Nature Book (published by Michael O'Mara), RSPB Where to Discover Nature (published by Christopher Helm) and Photographing Garden Wildlife (published by New Holland). If you want to use any of the photos from this blog, find out what other photos I can supply or enquire about writing, please email me (email@example.com)