Saturday, 21 June 2014

A pair of Great Crested Grebes have built a nest in the dead willow tree near the Italian Garden.  I had thought the grebes were going to begin their midsummer nesting campaign soon, when I saw one hunting for small fish of a size that might be given to chicks.

The Tawny owlets were again in a plane tree in the avenue that flanks the path next to the lime tree where they were first seen. The plane trees here have an oval patch of leafmould under them, where the gardeners are conducting some kind of experiment with soil nutrition. The owlets were calling and flying around, but always hard to see in the leafy crown of the tree. Here two have alighted facing in different directions, and are looking down.

The male Little Owl was in his usual place, surprisingly unruffled while crowds of people with stick were milling around poking at the brambles under his tree.

It seems that some foolish person has announced on Twitter that an envelope containing a large sum of money has been hidden near Peter Pan, and credulous people were out in force thrashing the bushes to try to find it.

The young Moorhens in the Italian Garden pond were running around the waterlilies on their enormous feet. How do they fit into their eggs?

A Wren was sunning itself on a twig in the leaf yard.

And a Blackbird was doing the same in the Flower Walk.

Female Blackbirds are rather overshadowed by the ultra-smart glossy black males, but they are elegant birds in their own right.

This Dragonfly, a Black-Tailed Skimmer, was also resting on the Flower Walk railings.

You get a good view of the wonderfully complicated mechanism that works its wings, which looks very much like the rotor blade tilting mechanism at the centre of a helicopter rotor, and the two do very much the same thing.


  1. That Little Owl seems to have a look of "Ha ha, I saw where some of the envelopes were stashed!" Jim n.L.

    1. Yes, owls are the only birds that really have facial expressions, whatever they mean.