Sunday 27 July 2014

There was a Common Sandpiper on the tern raft on the Long Water.

They are not common at all in the park, and you might see one a year if you are lucky.

A Little Grebe was fishing nearby, and then came up to the edge of the Italian Garden.

This is the first Little Grebe that I (and, I think, anyone else) have seen here for several months. It is in its full chestnut-brown breeding plumage, but there was no sign of a mate, and the bird was not calling.

This Great Crested Grebe in the nest on the island was holding its wings half open, clearly in the posture that grebes adopt when they have chicks on their back.

I waited for a small stripy head to come into view, but in vain.

There is a new small Coot chick near Peter Pan -- just one survivor.

Two Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on the posts were eyeing it hungrily.

The young Magpies near the Henry Moore sculpture are still playing with toys. This one had a yoghurt pot and was happily picking it up and waving it around and putting it down again.

When one of its siblings tried to snatch the pot, the Magpie flew into a tree still carrying it, and managed a successful landing in spite of having its forward vision completely obscured.

The male Little Owl was in the chestnut tree next to his nest tree, but in an awkward position where he could only be seen from directly below. Here he is preening his wing.

His mate was reported to be in her usual lime tree, but I couldn't find her when I went past. She moves around quite a lot. Nor could I find any Tawny Owls today, though one young one was seen yesterday in the usual chestnut tree.

This butterly in the ragwort patch across the road from Buck Hill is a male Common Blue, but I only know that because I could see the bright blue upper sides of his wings when he was flying. Females are duller in colour, but both look much the same with their wings folded. He would not open his wings to be photographed.


  1. Have just viewed your last set of photographs and delighted to see a Common Sandpiper has arrived and been photographed. Some years ago there were two together but no photo taken. I also think you did very well to get the photo of the adult Common Tern feeding one of the chicks with the other chick in the same picture. Great photos as always Ralph. MARIE

  2. Thanks. There was a Common Sandpiper here last year too -- see the post here.