Back in London early April, I left the pigeonless plaza and made my way through a large archway into what I think they call 'The Mall'. It is a large avenue stretching from what used to be pigeon plaza and is now blue chicken place to the royal palace. To one side is St James Park. The park was far more interesting to myself than the palace so although I took a few snaps of that 'old gray building' for my US and AU friend's benefit, my bird blog is going to be filled with St James Park pictures for several posts to come.
My first two photos today are of a pair of pigeons also strolling along this mall. In fact, I think most of the pigeons who used to dwell at the pigeon plaza have now moved to the far more suitable tree and grass filled parklands.
However, as you can see, there is yet another 'do not feed pigeons' sign up here. What a shame, although I did not have any seed or homemade bread with me anyway on this trip this time one is not permitted to feed squirrels either. This told me that there were squirrels somewhere in the park although I did not see any at this stage in my slow wandering up towards the royal gray building to investigate the 'noise', which turned out to be that guard changing ordeal complete with brass band and soldiers marching about the place. Here is what one of the pigeons thought of all that royal nonsense...
HERE is a video of baby ducks enjoying water in much the same manner as youthful humans!!
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When I last came sightseeing to London City, back in the year 2000, there were plenty of pigeons round the bottom of Nelson's Column. I had hoped they would still frequent the plaza to enable me to get some wonderful pigeon shots. However, there were only a couple here and a couple there. Luckily the sole photo of a single pair that I did manage to get came out fairly well.
Here is a close up of that giant blue chicken thing. I call it a thing as I am uncertain if it is a piece of art, a replacement for the multitude of pigeons that no longer stroll the plaza, or some charity symbol. I also found out why the pigeons seem to have moved on elsewhere and I can no longer add 'pigeon plaza' to my London tour of bird places.
A quick update from the backyard: Squeaks in the tree indicate that a pair of baby pigeons and at least one blackbird have been born. I have spotted Ditty the dove hanging around the tree at the bottom of the yard with the hope it may be her new partner's nesting place for her. Another pair of pigeons are nesting in the holly tree the other side of the yard and another pair of blackbirds in the hedgerow and ivy above the shed next door. So yes, much happening and a pleasant dawn chorus to drag me out of bed if I am lazy one morning... make new online friends - http://www.true-friends.org
I am uncertain what Pidge is searching for, but there seems to be something of interest to him in the tree. It is a little lower than his nest, so maybe he can see baby blackbirds? Later on, he decided to visit a neighbor's yard, once again just hanging out lazily.
Now we move onto my April photos and start with a series of shots I took on a recent trip to London City. The first two are shots of a golden statue, I assume of an eagle. I know none of the details, I just happened to spot a golden bird statue when walking past...
Another oddity I do not know how to explain is this giant blue chicken statue. As it is close to an art gallery of some sort, I assume it belongs to them. However, I do not know London well, so am not sure...
Let me start today with a pair of photos of Mr Blsck. In the first he is looking up at me from his food searching expedition in the yard. I had just tidied up the patio and swept a pile of debris for him to sort through. In the second shot he is standing on the edge of the bird bath leaning over to take a drink, so please excuse his rear.
To start today's photos I have 3 shots of starlings on the bird table. I have discovered that this is the only place I can put the coconut suet treat that any bird will eat from it. Starlings and Curio have been spotted eagerly nipping beak to the suet in its current location, though it was totally ignored when placed on the wall or hanging from a window.
To conclude today's pictures, here are a pair of shots of Pidge taking a thick stick to PM in their nest in my tree. Nesting is going on all round the yard, despite the last week of March returning to chilling weather. Chackie and partner are taking sticks to the chimney, sparrows are collecting small pigeon feathers, Curio and Mr Black have still been seen taking grasses into the tree, and Pidge is picking up large sticks
This (as I write) morning, as we enter the last week of March, I was lucky enough to spot a magpie in my tree. Predominantly they visit in the October~February season to munch fallen apples under the tree. They do appear from time to time throughout the rest of the year though, and today I was able to take a few shots.
The last of the above photos is of one of our nesting blackbird duo standing in the tree daydreaming. Curio takes a glance towards the nest before entering or exiting
Today, I wish to share a few shots of Mr Black with you. Here he is finding nibbles in my newly dug over veg plots. That is not the only place Mr Black hangs out, as you can see in the shot below although not very clearly. The lower shot is of him 'entering his front door', aka disappearing into the foliage towards his nest.
Looking around me as March 2014 continues, the weather has been mostly dry and breezy with some sunshine; however, there have also been several days of chilly showers. many birds remain active, but the camera appears less often. I think I have taken enough gray blurry splodges!!
Here we see the bluetits enjoying next door's nesting box. Despite the laundry line falling and needing repair, and gardeners messing about, I think the nesting birds are still OK and not too shocked or put off by the disturbances. I hav seen the adults going in at intervals, at any rate.
Here is one more shot of Curio near the veg plots. This next shot would have been Mr Black, however he decided to be quicker than my camera and consequently appeared as just a smudge.
Next, I attempted to take several shots of Chackie the jackdaw, without much success, as Chackie decided to turn its back on the camera and pay attention to my bread offering intead. However, I think the second shot is a good one if you want to see what a jackdaw foot/claw looks like.
March continued and trips away from home to share 'other' bird photographs with you are being plotted, especially now the weather is warmer. Lancing, Brighton and London are on the agenda, along with the possibility of another trip to Arundel wildlife reserve.
Here we see a trio of wood pigeons on the neighbor's roof. They are too distant for me to tell if Pidge & PM are among them, though. I have recently been spotting a bluetit entering my neighbor's birdnesting box which has taken up a few photographs recently.
This would have been a great shot of Sing ~ had not Sing bent down to munch food on the sill just as I took the shot. However, I did manage to get a couple more shots of Curio who is still busy hunting both for food and nesting material in my recently dug my veg plots. She also enjoys the bird bath from time to time.