Saturday 12 July 2014

The Blackcap family nesting near the Italian Garden came out to be seen. Here are the father ...

... and the three little ones.

We have seen the parents out catching insects for their brood, but this is the first sight of the young ones.

I thought I saw their mother here too, but actually it's a Dunnock, looking pretty unrecognisable because it's sunbathing. Thanks to Africa Gómez for pointing this out.

The Reed Warbler family were also visible in the reed bed near the Diana memorial. This is the mother looking out of the reeds while her mate sang from an invisible station above her.

The Moorhens in the Italian Garden have at least two new chicks.

The two survivors of their first brood were in the same pond, contentedly eating algae and not bothering their parents.

Also near the Italian Garden, the pair of Great Crested Grebes who built and lost a nest in the willow tree have taken over an unoccupied Coots' best, which they have made their own by draping it with weed.

Being a Coots' nest, it is much better made than anything they could have managed themselves, and should serve them well if they can keep the Coots from reoccupying it. I think it's the same pair of Coots that have built a second nest on the opposite bank, so perhaps they are in luck.

The three Tawny owlets were in the same chestnut tree as yesterday. Early on they were sitting in a row, but when I came by they had moved out of sight. A later visit found one of them, partly masked by leaves.

The male Little Owl was in the chestnut tree next to his nest tree, clearly visible but in deep shade.


  1. Hi Ralph, wonderful post as usual. I think your female blackcap is actually a dunnock. Female blackcaps have dark eyes and rich chestnut tops of head. I took a photo of a sunbathing dunnock once and it took me a while to identify what bird it was, as they look so strange!

  2. Many thanks for the correction. Have changed the post. I should have realised, because a Dunnock often hangs around in this tree.