Friday, 24 September 2021

It was a warm afternoon, and a Carrion Crow ...

... and some Starlings cooled off with a bathe in the Serpentine.

A Wren had a thorough preen on a twig beside the Long Water. It was still going five minutes after I stopped filming.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits worked their way up from the Albert Memorial to the Physical Energy statue.

A Pied Wagtail called as it hunted in the grass.

The male Peregrine tends to perch on the tower with his back to the view, and you have to wait for him to look round.

Male pigeons never stop trying it on with females.

An Rose-Ringed Parakeets never stop trying to get into feeders, despite finding them impossible to penetrate.

The Little Owls weren't being helpful today. The male at the Serpentine Gallery was dozing and wouldn't look down ...

... and the pair near the Speke obelisk, although they called to each other occasionally, remained completely invisible in two trees. However, when I was dodging around under a tree trying to see something there was a little tapping noise overhead, and there was a female Great Spotted Woodpecker looking for insects on a small branch.

A young Herring Gull dived to find a toy, chose a leaf, and took it to the edge of the lake to play with.

A young Grey Heron has often been seen on the gravel strip on the Long Water. Today there were three of them. Perhaps this place offers easy fishing for beginners.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks are quietening down at last, and just following their parents and learning from them. This is one of the youngest chicks at the Vista ...

... and an older one at the island.

A fox came out on the grass at the Vista and took no notice at all of the people staring at it and photographing it. Urban foxes are becoming more and more blasé about humans.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

After a day without a sight of a Little Owl yesterday, they were visible in both places. The female looked down from her nest tree near the Speke obelisk ...

... and I think this is the male near the Serpentine Gallery, right at the top of the horse chestnut.

There was just one Mistle Thrush eating fruit in the rowan trees on Buck Hill.

A Pied Wagtail hunted insects in the grass beside the Serpentine.

Two Goldcrests called to each other in the yew at the southeast corner of the Dell.

The very confident Coal Tit in the Flower Walk came to my hand for two pine nuts, and obligingly posed for a picture before taking the second.

There was a Peregrine on the crane in Knightsbridge. I think this is the female of the pair.

A pair of Black-Headed Gulls on the edge of the Serpentine displayed to shoo away another pair. The intruders wouldn't back off, so it came to a fight.

The second pigeon-eating gull, the Lesser Black-Back with grey legs, had made a kill at the Triangle car park.

Both the lakeside restaurants now have a Grey Heron looking for scraps. The one at the Lido is now standing on the edge of the lake right next to an occupied table hoping that the occupant will throw it a morsel.

A Cormorant drying its wings on a post on the Long Water looked quite shiny in the hazy sunlight. It had a good flap to help the process.

The elder Great Crested Grebe chick on the Serpentine was fishing by itself, though I didn't see it catch anything. It paused to preen.

The Coot nest next to the bridge was occupied a pair of Moorhens. The Coots also stand here but I think they've lost interest in the nest as a bit of property, because I've never seen a fight.

An Egyptian Goose preened at the Vista.

The Grey Squirrels around the Long Water are quite vocal at the moment. I think this was a friendly conversation rather than a territorial dispute, as the one on the lower branch started cleaning its fur in a relaxed way.

I didn't see any interesting insects, but Neil sent a picture of a female Willow Emerald damselfly of a pretty gold colour.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

A walk around the Long Water, starting and finishing at the bridge that separates it from the Serpentine.

A Long-Tailed Tit hung upside down in a hawthorn tree.

A Goldcrest hopped around in a yew near the bridge.

A Jackdaw looked down expectantly ...

... and got a peanut, which it shelled neatly.

The blond male Egyptian Goose stood on the willow near the bridge. His mate, with whom he is now happily reunited, was in the water nearby.

The Red-Crested Pochard drakes are emerging from eclipse and beginning to get their breeding plumage.

A Migrant Hawker dragonfly hovered over a pool in the Italian Garden.

On the Serpentine, the older Great Crested Grebe chick gave the camera a curious stare as it cruised up the island ...

... too far, and into the other family's territory, so it got chased away.

A Grey Heron stared at something on the Bluebird Boats platform.

A side view shows that it was looking at the gap between the pedalos, hoping an unwary fish would swim into view.

Three people were staring at the male Peregrine on the tower. He was mildly interested and stared back.

A young Herring Gull ate the remains of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull's latest kill. 

He hadn't eaten much of it, so it was probably his second pigeon of the day. He was in his favourite place on the restaurant roof, preening.

A juvenile Wood Pigeon drank and had a wash in the pool at the top of the Dell waterfall. Not sure why it was pecking at the water -- maybe there were some small insects on the surface.

Finally, another fine picture from Rainham Marshes by Tom: the female Kestrel at sunset.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Just time for a quick round of the park before heading off to Rainham Marshes. I didn't find a Little Owl at the Serpentine Gallery. Little Dave the gardener told me that he had seen a Kestrel circling the tree, so probably they had had a disagreement and the owls had retired to their hole.

But the male owl near the Speke obelisk was visible for a change.

Robins were singing loudly all over Kensington Gardens. This one was in the leaf yard.

A Pied Wagtail perched on the roof of one of the small boathouses, then hunted insects in the moss and lichen on the tiles.

It caught a fly.

One of the two younger Great Crested Grebe chicks cruised past.

A female Tufted Duck rested on the edge of the Serpentine.

There were three kinds of egret at Rainham. Two Cattle Egrets and a Little Egret (front) searched for small edible creatures.

A Little Egret caught a dragonfly in the reeds.

And there was also a Great Egret, the first one I've managed to see at Rainham.

A female Wheatear perched on a heap of earth on the mound upstream from the reserve, which is an old rubbish tip and the highest ground in the flat landscape.

A Little Grebe caught a small fish and flipped it about before swallowing it. Little Grebes can shake fish so violently that they disintegrate, which is handy for feeding chicks with the pieces.

There was also a teenager still with traces of juvenile stripes on its face.

Marsh Frogs were croaking loudly in several places.

A Wasp Spider waited at the centre of its web.

Willow Emerald damselflies mated on a bramble stem.

A Common Carder Bee climbed over a buddleia flower.

A Hornet Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria) rested on a log.

After I left to come home Tom found a female Kestrel, which had eluded me. He got a fine photograph of her in flight.