Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Two Carrion Crows went through the remains of someone's breakfast at the Dell restaurant. It was a bit surprising to see that a tomato was a success. The other crow rejected some mushrooms and went back to scraping melted fat off the other plate.

Another skilfully held up a plastic plate in a bin to eat the scraps on it.

A young Herring Gull had no difficulty in keeping crows off the Feral Pigeon carcass it was eating. For once this pigeon was not a victim of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull. A circle of feathers nearby shows that it was killed by a Sparrowhawk which was probably frightened off the kill by people or dogs. A female Sparrowhawk can fly holding a pigeon, a male can't.

The two Spotted Flycatchers were still in their usual place near the bridge.

While I was photographing them, the local Great Tits ...

... and Blue Tits kept interrupting to ask for food.

A Blackbird fed in the rowan tree on Buck Hill.

The Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island were looking after their three chicks. One of them got fed.

The single chick from the other end of the island is no longer tiny.

Ahmet Amerikali is keeping an eye on the two Little Grebe chicks in Southwark Park. They grow up much faster than their larger cousins, and are now almost adult size.

A young Moorhen clung to the slippery edge of the fountain in the Italian Garden.

A fox cub basked in the sunshine behind the Henry Moore sculpture.

Two squirrels pulled the bark off a branch to find grubs.

Two male Migrant Hawker dragonflies circled the planters in the Italian Garden.

A face-to-face view.

There was also a male Willow Emerald damselfly.

This curious painting has appeared on one of the lifebelt boxes at the Vista. It's painted on a road map of the Loire Valley, varnished and glued on. I can't make out whether the signature is Annabelle Amorvio or Annabelle Amori 19.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

There are still two Spotted Flycatchers near the bridge. One took a break from hunting and preened on a twig.

The other darted out to catch a fly. The second time, it missed its prey.

The Cetti's Warbler was flying around, and Ahmet Amerikali got a quick shot of one -- a remarkable feat to get two pictures of this elusive bird in three days.

A Wren looked out shyly from the shadows.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits passed through the hawthorn trees.

A young Wood Pigeon perched in a holly tree. It has not yet grown the characteristic white collar, and its eyes are still grey instead of the odd-looking adult white.

The berries on the rowan tree on Buck Hill are lasting longer than expected, and there are still enough to attract a flock of Mistle Thrushes.

One of the resident pair of Mistle Thrushes near the Serpentine Gallery was well camouflaged against fallen leaves.

A Grey Heron stood on a post at the Vista with its crest blowing in the wind, looking slightly foolish.

At the Dell restaurant, a Black-Headed Gull was having difficulty swallowing a large bit of pizza crust. It managed eventually.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks under the bridge are growing up fast, and hungrier than ever.

One the other side of the bridge, one of the parents dived between the rows of wire baskets.

There are now two pairs of Gadwalls in the Italian Gardens fountain.

A female Pochard reclined on the edge of the Serpentine.

Ahmet took this picture of a Canada Goose flying along the lake.

The carp in the little stream in the Dell get very excited when peanuts are thrown into the water.

Monday, 16 September 2019

The Kingfisher is back on the Long Water -- or more likely a pair, as it was calling. It perched on the dead willow tree near the Italian Garden.

A Little Grebe also reappeared, under the same tree.

There was a very late family of Greenfinches in the trees on the west side of the Long Water, between the bridge and the Vista. Paul saw the young one being fed.

The Spotted Flycatchers are still here.

Despite the dull autumn day, a Goldcrest was singing in the yew next to the bridge.

A Grey Heron scratched its chin in a nearby tree.

A large flock of Mistle Thrushes flew in to Buck Hill, landing in a treetop. I include this bad distant picture because it shows how many gnats there are 60 feet above the ground. No wonder the place was so popular with House Martins.

The Mistle Thrushes flew down and hunted for insects. The rough grass is still full of grasshoppers.

It's getting harder to reach the remaining fruit on the rowan tree.

A Blackbird also visited.

The Shovellers have starting arriving for the winter. I saw two on the far side of the Long Water, both drakes beginning to come out of eclipse.

One of the Coots at the east end of the Serpentine had returned to its temporary day nest and was tidying it up. Some Black-Headed Gulls made the task harder.

An adult and a juvenile Herring Gull shared the remains of one of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull's kills. The adult was surprisingly willing to share. Maybe the young one was its offspring, or simply being tolerated because it was in juvenile plumage.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Cetti's Warblers are notoriously unphotographable, but Ahmet Amerikali managed to capture the one that lives near the bridge, often heard but seldom seen.

The angle makes identification slightly uncertain, but I'm pretty sure that that's what it is.

The Spotted Flycatcher is still here, today in a tree near the bridge. I missed it, but Ahmet found it.

Coal Tits like to live in stone pines, and the seeds -- the familiar culinary pine nuts -- are one of their favourite foods. In this case the pine nut was provided by me.

There was just one Mistle Thrush eating the berries at the bottom of the tree on Buck Hill.

A female Blackbird came out on the plywood fence surrounding the Lido swimming area, which is broken by people climbing over it to avoid paying.

Farther along the fence, a Robin looked up anxiously. Both Sparrowhawks and Peregrines fly over this area.

A Magpie drank from a puddle made by a leaking fire hydrant near the Old Police House.

Birds avoid drinking from the lake if they can. Evidently the water tastes nasty. But sometimes the Round Pond will have to do.

A Grey Wagtail flew over the little stream in the Dell.

Another good picture by Ahmet: a Cormorant over the lake.

The Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island were looking after their three chicks. The father relaxed with a flap.

A young Egyptian Goose enjoyed a wash and flapped its developing wings. Soon it will be able to fly.

A female Pochard at Peter Pan ate insects off the surface of the water and dabbled for algae and small aquatic creatures.

Joan Chatterley reports that the single Black Swan cygnet in St James's Park is still in good order. It's noticeably darker than a Mute Swan cygnet. This is her picture.

A Migrant Hawker dragonfly perched on the crabapple tree near the bridge.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

The Great Crested Grebes at the bridge carried on with their long task of feeding the chicks. One chick now follows each parent for individual attention.

The single chick from the west end of the island, waiting to be fed, shook itself.

A Moorhen took its ease in the day nest built by Coots at the east end of the Serpentine. The Coots don't use it any more, as their chicks are now grown up.

A Black-Headed Gull pecked at a carp that had died of natural causes.

This young Starling in the Dell is almost grown up, with just a few of its juvenile brown feathers remaining.

Two good pictures by Ahmet Amerkali from beside the Long Water: a female Blackcap ...

... and a Goldcrest in the yew tree next to the bridge.

The people who come to feed the Rose-Ringed Parakeets in Kensington Gardens are often afraid of them, and hold up apples on sticks to avoid being bitten. A Wood Pigeon took advantage of a discarded apple.

A female Migrant Hawker dragonfly circled a planter in the Italian Garden.

There was also a Common Darter, but David Element sent a far more spectacular picture of a pair mating.

In the Dell, Honeybees and a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee wandered over a sedum flower head, whose many small flowers gave them plenty to do.

There was a good variety of butterflies in the Rose Garden: a Comma ...

... a rather and tattered faded Painted Lady ...

... a Red Admiral ...

... and a Small White, for once posing with its wings open.