Tuesday 8 May 2018

On the grass to the east of the Dell, a Blackbird gathered worms and insects for his nestlings.

Nearby, a pair of Carrion Crows made a lining for their nest by stripping bark off fallen twigs.

They gathered it up ...

... before flying up to their large untidy nest in a plane tree in the Dell.

One of the Crows on Buck Hill was sunbathing in exactly the same place where I videoed it three days ago.

A pair of Magpies bathed in the fountain in the Rose Garden.

The usual Jay was waiting to be fed near the bridge.

The male Little Owl at the leaf yard made a welcome reappearance at the top of the chestnut tree.

A Wren paused for a moment on an oak twig.

In the oak near the bridge, a Moorhen had a brief rest before climbing the tree to its nest, which can't be seen from the ground.

The Great Crested Grebes at the island were carrying their chicks. I could only see two, but the only way to be sure how many there are is to watch them being transferred from one parent to another.

Above them, the Grey Heron on the lower nest was preening its enormous wings.

A chick could be heard begging for food in the upper nest. I pointed the video camera at the nest for several minutes to see if it would appear, but it didn't and I won't bore you with a static video.

The Egyptian Goose family on the Round Pond are down to two goslings.

Blondie and her mate are now back on the territory on the Serpentine she had before, and which is only a few yards from where she was hatched. They were celebrating with a thorough wash.

Buttercups are appearing in the long grass.


  1. I wonder if Blondie remembers where exactly she was born. Raptors do.

    The chicks' heads look a bit larger, don't they? I hope it is reality and not wishful thinking that makes it appear so.

    So that is a Buttercup! I recall being very very puzzled when I first watched, an age ago, The Princess Bride and found that the princess was called Buttercup. I was - "Buttercup? As in a cup of butter? What a strange name for royalty".

    1. I'm sure Blondie remembers the reed bed where she grew up. With the exception of this year, she has kept very close to it.

      Buttercups are an amazingly bright butter yellow. They are shaped like little parabolic reflectors, and have to be photographed at an angle to avoid them saturating the picture with their shine.

    2. It was named when butter was golden yellow instead of the pastel yellow of today. A country child in my childhood in the fifties would, on a sunny day, hold a buttercup flower under another's chin, if the colour was reflected onto the skin it meant that the person liked butter.
      It always did of course because every child liked butter.

    3. Thank you for the explanation: that's a lovely custom.