Sunday, 26 June 2016

The female Little Owl was sitting lower in the horse chestnut tree that she likes at the moment. This formerly very shy bird has become quite calm about humans. At one point there were six people taking photographs of her.

The owlets were together in the top of the same tree.

Their father was on his usual branch in the nest tree.

But immediately after I took this picture he was attacked by a Magpie, and fled first into the maple tree near the leaf yard, then right into the yard. He stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.

At the bottom of the nest tree, a Harlequin ladybird larva was walking around a leaf.

A Great Tit looked at it, but didn't seem disposed to eat it. Are they bitter tasting, or does their colouring mimic some other unpalatable species?

A Jackdaw on the grass near Peter Pan had no hesitation in demanding a peanut.

The Black Swan is now soliciting food from everyone who looks likely.

I hope the unnatural diet doesn't harm him. At least the Mute Swans in the park seem to be able to cope with everything they are given without ill effect.

A Mute Swan has been bullying all the other water birds at the west end of the Serpentine. Even the Black Swan gives him a wide berth, though he would not do anything as undignified as retreating. Today he came beyond the Lido and started beating up the Greylag Geese. On the left of this picture, one of Blondie's young is also getting out of his way.

Possibly because of this violence, the two families of Canada Geese (three of whose young may be Greylags) had moved on to the Long Water. The third black and white head is that of their eldest gosling, now quite adult looking. This is the one that was hatched on the tern raft.

The seven Moorhen chicks in the Italian Garden pond were in good order, and were climbing around the waterlilies.

There is a family of Goldcrests at the southeast corner of the Dell. This is one of the young ones.

Here is another picture of Common Blue Damselflies mating near the bridge.

At first I thought they had been inspired by the recent Gay Pride demonstration, but it seems that females can be bluish. Certainly the male at the top is much bluer.

These mushrooms were growing next to the path from Queen's Gate and the Physical Energy statue. They are clearly of the genus Boletus or a nearly allied one, but I can't find them on an identification web page. They are shown next to a pound coin, as I didn't have the traditional 50p piece.

Update: Tom found a Mandarin with seven ducklings just out of their nest in a tree hole, and escorted them down the Vista to the Long Water. This is his excellent photograph.

There are not too many Herring Gulls around at the moment, and there is plenty of cover under nearby bushes, so with luck some of them will survive to join the existing young Mandarin, which is also likely to be found at the Vista.


  1. Adult ladybirds taste bad (they give off a foul-smelling yellow liquid when disturbed). Perhaps the larvae have a similar defense.