Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Great Crested Grebes from the nest on the fallen poplar in the Long Water definitely have three chicks.

You can never be sure how many there are when they are very small and hidden under their parent's wings, and all you can see is an occasional glimpse of a little stripy head. But sooner or later they will appear.

A Cormorant was swinging wildly on a chain on a post at the island, trying to keep its balance.

They like to perch on the posts but are not agile enough to land on them directly, and have to jump on to the chain and climb up quickly before they fall off. This one had already fallen into the water once.

In the shrubbery at the east side of the Long Water, a female Chaffinch was looking at me warily.

You have to know a Chaffinch for a long time before it will trust you enough to take food from your hand.

There was a flock of Starlings in the rowan trees on Buck Hill, hungrily eating the berries. This is a young bird, still with a brown head.

The berries don't last long once the Starlings start on them, but there were still plenty for a couple of Mistle Thrushes in the same tree.

One of the Little owlets was in the nest tree. This is the nervous one of the two, and it looked over its shoulder at me and there was only time for a couple of shots before it flew down to an invisible place in the tree.

The male adult Little Owl was there later, but he is well used to being photographed and didn't even glance round.

There are still quite a few dragonflies. This one is a Common Darter, and it was on the edge of the little pool at the top of the waterfall in the Dell.

This fine set of Chicken of the Woods fungi is on a dead tree next to the Speke obelisk.


  1. I loved your comment yesterday about Grebes with chicks 'looking like an unmade bed'! They're normally such neat birds

    1. Yes, that made me smile too. When the Grebe parent I was watching had unloaded its burden of Grebelets, it really did look a mess!

  2. It was delightful to have met you Ralph on September 19 th on a bright, early, autumn morning in Hyde Park by the Peter Pan sculpture, both with our zoom lenses looking out across the lake and comparing notes and ideas about where to find the best views of the birds. Thank you for showing me your favourite haunts And the special tree in which you had spied an elusive "little owl " who kept turning his back on us. That was first time I have seen an owl at relatively close range who was not in captivity. I am enjoying your blog very much and hope that we might see you one day down at Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory . You might like to take a look at their website on www.SBBOT.org.UK. I shall look out for you when I am next in London and bring a flask if it is in the winter. Have you managed to photograph the kingfisher yet who came flying past us teasingly while we were looking at the Great Crested Grebes, I think they were ? Gail Marsh. Kent .

  3. Good to have met you. Yes, I have managed to photograph a Kingfisher here just twice, when it came up to the Italian Garden and sat on an outside branch of the dead willow tree. See entries for 20 March 2013 and 4 July 2015. But this hardly ever happens.