Monday, 9 July 2018

The male Little Owl at the leaf yard was in his usual tree, preening ...

... but a moment later his calm was shattered when a flock of Long-Tailed Tits flew into the tree and started mobbing him.

The young Carrion Crows on Buck Hill can now get the shells off peanuts if you crack them slightly first. The difficulty is not pecking through the shell, but holding the nut firmly in one foot while pecking.

The Mute Swans cruised in a procession down the Long Water ...

... so that the male could deal with an unusually bold intruder on his territory. The two circled each other menacingly. Sometimes this ends in a chase or even a fight, but in this case the intruder backed off and retreated under the bridge.

The Tufted Duck family with five ducklings were on the south shore of the Serpentine.

Virginia sent a very pleasing picture of a duckling flapping its tiny wings.

I couldn't find the other family. Probably they were behind the plant baskets surrounding the island.

Three Mallard ducklings dabbled vigorously in the shallow water in front of the statue of Peter Pan.

The two Canada Goose families with three goslings each remain firm friends despite one of the broods having turned out to be Greylags.

In all, there are six young Greylags on the lake who are being brought up by Canadas. It will be interesting to see whether they find out their true identity.

The Little Grebes on the Long Water were calling to each other constantly, but stayed obstinately in the distance so I couldn't get a good picture.

The grebes at the east end of the island were building up their nest.

The three chicks from the Long Water were idling under the bridge, waiting for their parents to arrive with fish. They only use one foot to swim when not in a hurry.

Black-Headed Gulls are arriving daily, and there was a long row of them on the gravel bank in front of the Henry Moore sculpture.

A Green-Veined White butterfly ...

... and a Honeybee peacefully shared a clump of purple flowers.

Probably these flowers are also, invisibly to us, ultra-violet and shine brightly and attractively in their vision.


  1. The purple flowers are the flowers of Arctium minus, commonly known as lesser burdock, a plant whose roots are edible and also roasted as a coffee substitute

    1. Thanks. Looking this up, I see that the burdock used in the traditional English drink 'dandelion and burdock' is the Greater Burdock, A. lappa.

  2. You mean "one foot to swim"? Anyway, interesting, wonder what other birds do this. Jim

  3. Hi Ralph- that's a Green-veined rather than Small White. Plenty of whites + butterflies in general at the moment with the fine conditions. Just concerned many of the larval food plants will be shrivelling up now.

    1. Thanks. I was wondering about that, but it didn't look green enough to my unpractised eye. Have changed the text.

  4. That picture of the Lng Tailed Iit photobombing the Little Owl ought to go viral! As does the lovely picture of the Duckling flapping its tiny little wings.

    Swans are so graceful that even when threatening each other they look like they are dancing in tandem.