Friday, 10 July 2020

The Little Owl was back in her usual alder tree after several days' absence caused by wind and rain.

Later the wind rose again and she went back into her hole.

Swifts whizzed over the Round Pond ...

... and Pied Wagtails ran around the edge.

A Magpie clung to the bark of an oak in the leaf yard.

A Wren perched on a branch beside the Long Water.

A Goldcrest was singing in the evergreens near the bridge, and Ahmet Amerikali got a picture of it.

Young Rose-Ringed Parakeets beg for food by rapidly bobbing their head. This one eventually got a share of a peanut.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks at the bridge are now really too large to ride on their parent's back, but one was allowed on anyway.

A Moorhen looked after two chicks under the same willow tree.

The four Mute Swan cygnets are now experts at touting for food, and were at the Diana fountain landing stage without their parents.

Duncan Campbell reports that the seven young Egyptian Geese at Marble Arch are now making short flights. Their mother (third from right) has now almost completely regrown her wing feathers and should be able to lead them out soon.

A Red Admiral butterfly hung on in the gusty wind. The iron railings don't provide a good foothold.

A Honeybee pushed a small longhorn beetle out of the way.

Thistles attracted Buff-Tailed Bumblebees ...

... and a hoverfly -- I think the species is Episyrphus balteatus. This fine photograph is by Ahmet.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

The young Carrion Crows on Buck Hill are still being fed by their parents. Here each of them gets a nut from a peanut in the shell that I gave a parent. It takes some time for young crows to learn how to shell peanuts.

This young Magpie was old enough to feed itself, but still unsuccessfully trying to get some food from a parent. In the end the adult flew away.

A Magpie was going through the contents of a rubbish bin beside the Serpentine. Probably the things were pulled out by a crow, as a Magpie wouldn't be strong enough to lift that super size cup of some dubious McDonalds concoction.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull was having a lie down on the roof of the Dell restaurant to digest his lunch ...

... while a young Lesser Black-Back finished off the remains.

I used to think that other Lesser Black-Backs would copy the notorious gull and catch their own pigeons, and indeed a couple have tried, but none of them has succeeded. Our gull is very big for a Lesser Black-Back, clever and with the experience of years of hunting pigeons.

One of the Great Crested Grebes at the east end of the island gave a feather to a chick -- feathers help with grebes' digestion by wrapping up sharp fishbones. So far I've only seen one chick here, but it's a difficult place to see what's happening.

The two younger grebe chicks on the Long Water were idling among some Canada Geese when one of them saw a parent carrying a fish and raced off to grab it.

This Coot chick near the Lido is a couple of weeks old and has nearly lost its bright red face and orange feathers.

A contrast in colours between the blond Mallard duckling ...

... and the dark one.

There may be greater contrasts, since adult Mallards can be any shade between black and white.

A Pochard drake rested on the Serpentine.

The Mute Swans with four cygnets took them right up to the bridge. It would be a bad idea to go beyond it, since there are two pairs of swans with cygnets on the Long Water which might attack the interlopers.

A young Pied Wagtail at the Round Pond -- thanks to Mark Williams for this picture.

And another fine picture by Paul from Richmond Park: the two young Kestrels from the nest in the dead oak, now teenagers.

The Purple Loosestrife in the Italian Garden fountain pools is a magnet for bees of several species.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

A young Great Spotted Woodpecker, evidently the offspring of the pair near the bridge, came out on a branch.

A female Blackbird furiously scolded a pair of Magpies perched on the railings below her.

A young Great Tit stared curiously at the camera.

The Great Crested Grebes at the bridge are now taking care of one chick each, the usual arrangement when the chicks have stopped riding on their parents' backs -- and are also at their hungriest, so that feeding one is a serious job.

The family at the Vista are still together. As usual they were lurking under a bush.

The dominant Mute Swan pair with three cygnets were also under a bush opposite Peter Pan.

The Black Swan had been having a little expedition on to the Long Water, and came back under the bridge.

The Egyptian family with blonde goslings enjoyed a puddle left by last night's rain. Their father, who provided the blonde genes, is on the right in the first clip.

A closer view of two of the blonde goslings. If I'm right about this colour variation being sex-linked, the eight blondes are female and the two normally coloured ones male.

Two pairs of Mandarins appeared at the Vista. The males in eclipse look much like females, but the one at bottom left is certainly male, as he has a pinkish bill and the remains of a crest.

A patch of lavender in the Rose Garden attracts a lot of Buff-Tailed Bumblebees.

Paul has been watching the Kestrel family and the Little Owls in Richmond Park, and has got some excellent pictures. Here the female Kestrel, on a dead oak tree, is holding a Common Lizard which her mate has brought her to feed the chicks.

The Little Owls also spend much of their time on another dead oak, against which they are practically invisible if you don't know where to look. But here is a female on a live chestnut.

Mark Williams reports that the Little Grebes in St James's Park have bred.

He also sent a fine picture of a Large Tortoiseshell butterfly. Update: this seems to be a rarity now.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate shared their latest victim in the usual place near the Dell restaurant. A hungry Carrion Crow took advantage of a moment of inattention and the female shooed it away. The male gull always washes his face after a meal. He is very particular about his appearance.

A strayed racing pigeon wandered around on the path at the foot of Buck Hill. It seemed happy to be with the ordinary Feral Pigeons and showed no sign of wanting to leave.

This is one of the two young Blackbirds on the lawn to the east of the Dell. It's still being fed by its parents.

Here is the first view of a chick in the Great Crested Grebe nest at the east end of the island.

The father of the two chicks near the bridge looked proudly at his offspring.

One of the other set of two chicks was preening its shining white belly.

A Coot fussed around in a nest in one of the planters in the Italian Garden fountains. It's their third nest this year.

The four Mute Swan cygnets were at the Lido. They are now going through the gawky ragged stage, but they will look better when they get their first coat of proper feathers.

The Black Swan preened, showing off its new white wing feathers which still have the faintest trace of juvenile black tips.

There is an usually high proportion of pale goslings in this new brood of Egyptian Geese. Their father is pale and their mother normal. Pale males are rarer than females, and I'm pretty sure (though I don't actually know) that colour is sex-linked.

A Mallard near the bridge had one unusually dark duckling.

Young perch about two inches long could be seen in the Long Water from the parapet of the Italian Garden. This is a bad picture, but it was very hard to get one at all.

Honeybees were busy in a patch of Meadow Cranesbill at the back of the Lido.

I tried again to get a picture of the tiny multicoloured wasps in the clump of campanulas next to the Triangle car park. They weren't there, but I did find this small bee which I can't identify. Here are two pictures, the second showing distinctive yellow markings on its face.

Update: Duncan Campbell has definitively identified it as a Common Yellow-Face Bee, Hylaeus communis. He remarks that there are 275 species on bee in Britain.