Tuesday 5 June 2018

The female Little Owl near the leaf yard knows me and is not worried by being filmed, but someone passing the tree with a dog got a furious stare.

Several families of Great Tits were making a commotion in an oak tree near the bridge.

Blue Tit fledglings were also clamouring to be fed.

Their parents are looking very tatty from the strain of nesting and feeding their young.

A young Wren perched on a twig near the Italian Garden. An adult would have fled as soon as I looked at it.

There was a young Carrion Crow a few feet away on the dead willow tree, probably too young and gormless to be a threat to the Wren.

A young Starling was examining flowers at the Lido resturant, hoping to find insects in them.

This is the rock under the waterfall in the Dell which the Grey Wagtails often use as a base for hunting insects. A Mistle Thrush had the same idea.

A rock under the second waterfall had a Moorhen nesting on it. The pair have already tried nesting on a rock a few yards downstream, but nothing came of it.

The Coots under the willow tree near the bridge have decorated their nest with feathers shed by the Mute Swans on the bank nearby. The swans and geese are beginning their summer moult.

Near the island, a swan mother didn't really know what to do when the local Coot family charged in beside her cygnets.

Families of Greylag Geese and Coots were uncomfortably close to each other at the Dell restaurant. But the serious aggression of the Greylag gander was reserved for a rival.

The 15 Canada goslings are growing fast.

The Great Crested Grebes at the island are sadly now down to one chick. While it was chasing its parent demanding to be fed, it passed the nest and there was a young Grey Heron standing on it. The chick was too young to be alarmed, but the parent was furious.

I have never seen a damselfly like this before, with a red thorax and a blue-tipped black abdomen, and am quite unable to identify it. It was near the bridge. Wish I could have got a sharper picture, but I still haven't got my good lens back from being serviced.

Update: David Element identifies it as a female Blue-Tailed Damselfly, 'of which,' he writes, 'there are several age-associated colour forms.'

This moth also baffled me, in spite of having a good book on British butterflies and moths. There are quite a lot of moths with this dead leaf look, but its position makes it hard to identify.

Update: David Element has identified this too. It's a Silver Y moth, Autographa gamma, so called because its markings resemble the Greek letter gamma γ (and, of course, our capital Y). It's a migrant from southern Europe, which flies north to breed in spring and early summer.


  1. Poor bereaved Grebe. So sorry for the loss of the chick :-(
    The bird is so mad at the young Heron though. Did a Heron cause the loss?

    That Swan mother looks stumped. Too many Coots coming in from all directions. No wonder she is distracted.

    The Little Owl looks so pretty when she is angry!

    1. I haven't seen that heron in that place before. The grebe chick may have died of starvation. It's still not an ideal time for parents to find small fish the right size. But all kinds of accidents can happen to young birds. By the way, there are now two Great Crested Grebe nests on the Long Water.