Thursday, 3 April 2014

There are two pairs of Nuthatches nesting near the southwest corner of the leaf yard. One nest hole, already mentioned, is in a tall beech tree that interrupts a row of limes on the far side of the path. The other may be inside the enclosure, in the bare trunk of a dead and branchless cherry tree -- at any rate, the birds were spending a lot of time in this place. Here is one of them.

One of this pair nearly landed on my hand yesterday, but reconsidered and sheered off at the last moment. They are now very easy around humans, but there is no need to perch on people's hands if they are putting plenty of food on the fence.

At least four Blackcaps were singing around the edge of the Long Water. They move a lot, so it is hard to count them. My efforts to get a decent photograph of one were in vain again, but Sandy Sorkin, the American visitor who found the Wryneck in the Rose Garden last year, is back in town and secured this good picture of a male Blackcap singing.

A female Chaffinch follows me around the leaf yard. She won't come to my hand, though the males are much bolder. You can sometimes get her to take a seed off the ground.

The male Tawny Owl and one of the Little Owls from the chestnut tree were seen this morning, but neither of them would come out for me to photograph them.

A terrapin was basking in the hazy sunlight on the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water.

It is a Red-Eared Slider, but the coloured stripe on its head that gives it its name has faded over the years. It seems to be the only terrapin in the lake now. There used to be another, and also a snapping turtle, but these have not been seen for several years.

One of the pair of Mistle Thrushes near the Serpentine Gallery was having to exert itself to pull up a reluctant earthworm.

It succeeded.


  1. Lovely photos and commentary again, thank you. I think your female chaffinch is enchanting! I am off to Bedfordshire for a week.

    1. Looking forward to seeing you when you get back.

  2. You've taken many remarkable photos Ralph, but that Nuthatch actually looks like it's in 3D with its head and shoulders protruding off the computer screen at me. Never seen that done in single lens photography before, congratulations. Jim, n. London.

    1. Thanks. The Nuthatch was looking at me because it was expecting to get fed, and the sunlight fell on its head to create that effect.