Saturday 23 June 2018

A Pied Wagtail at the Round Pond gathered insects for its nestlings. I think they nest in the main block of Kensington Palace, as I have seen them flying up to the roof there.

There were House Matins, Sand Martins and Swifts flying over the pond.

The Egyptian Goose family here with seven goslings were in good order.

The eldest Greylag goslings on the Serpentine are beginning to get their adult appearance.

A Mute Swan with young cygnets ventured uner the bridge on to the Long Water, a dangerous place for them as the dominant pair of swans are guarding it jealously.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks at the island are beginning to grow little black crests.

Cormorants are returning to the lake, a sign that this year's young fish are now large enough to interest them.

A top view of the duckboard in the Italian Gardens fountain which the Feral Pigeons like as a place to bathe and socialise.

On the next pool, a Carrion Crow used the duckboard to steal a bit of bread which someone had thrown to a Coot.

The female Little Owl at the leaf yard was in the chestnut tree just uphill from the nest tree.

Tinúviel sent me this picture of three big feathers. The one at the bottom is a Mute Swan primary. The one at the top is from a Great Bustard, and the enormous feather in the middle is from a Griffon Vulture.

There was a Comma butterfly in Kensington Gardens, only the second one I've seen this year.

A female Broad-Bodied Chaser dragonfly sunned herself on a grass stem beside the Long Water.

A male Black-Tailed Skimmer was also basking. They usually do this on the path, where the gravel rolled into the tarmac spoils the picture, and it's hard to find one on a plain background.

A White-Tailed Bumblebee examined a clover flower.

Jabir Belmehdi photographed a handsome beetle about an inch long in Kensington Gardens. There are so many species of beetle that I don't have a hope of identifying it myself.


  1. New insect species keep being discovered on the daily at a distracting rate. Were I an entomologist I would despair of keeping up with the field. A few years ago an Entomology professor from one of the universities in Barcelona was sitting at his desk a home, saw a tiny spider, captured it with the help of a drinking glass he had at his side, and had a good look at it. It turned out it was an until-then unknown spider species! In his own home, under his very nose.

    Love the tiny crests on the Grebe chicks! So very happy to see them grow and prosper. I really feel a genuine interest in their wellbeing, ever since they were little defenseless hungry babies.

    1. The eminent biologist J.B.S. Haldane wrote, 'The Creator would appear as endowed with a passion for stars, on the one hand, and for beetles on the other, for the simple reason that there are nearly 300,000 species of beetle known, and perhaps more, as compared with somewhat less than 9,000 species of birds and a little over 10,000 species of mammals. Beetles are actually more numerous than the species of any other insect order. That kind of thing is characteristic of nature.'
      --- What is Life?, 1949, since when far more beetles have been discovered

  2. That beetle might be a cockchafer.

  3. yes, looks like a Maikaefer- big in German (again) folklore

  4. Great pics Ralph; love the feathers too Tinúviel!

  5. Terrific story about the Spanish spider-buff. The British mycologist Roger Phillips was taking photos for an illustrated guide and sent a specimen he found in some bonfire-ash off to Kew Gardens to confirm identification; they wrote back and said 'it's a new species, and we've named it after you". That's immortality of a sort.