Friday 5 October 2018

A close view of one of the pair of Dunnocks in the shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge. They are shy birds, but I was standing still and it forgot I was there, and hopped around under my feet.

A few yards away, a Blue Tit pecked furiously at a dead, curled-up horse chestnut leaf, making quite a noise. Perhaps there was the larva of a leaf miner moth in it. I couldn't get an unobstructed view through the leaves, and this picture is the best I could manage.

The female Blackbird with the white face hasn't appeared for a while, but this is her mate in a whitebeam tree near the Italian Garden. He is still looking tatty after breeding and moulting, but his head feathers should grow back soon.

A Wren looked out from the dead leaves of a tree beside the Long Water ...

... and another pulled at a spider's web at the top of the Dell.

Grey Wagtails love running water, and are often seen on the little waterfall in the Dell.

The young Great Crested Grebes from the island were beside the platform of Bluebird Boats, fishing but not catching much, and being fed occasionally by their parents.

A Cormorant was preening on the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water, looking surprisingly shiny in the low autumn sunshine.

A pair of Mute Swans courted at the Vista.

There were several families of Mute Swans with teenage cygnets on the Long Water. This one prudently left before the dominant swan chased them away.

Two of the dominant pair's cygnets rested on the gravel bank, overlooked by a Grey Heron.

Long before the memorial fountain to Princess Diana was built, there was a fountain with a bronze statue of the goddess Diana in the Rose Garden. It's a popular bathing place for Feral Pigeons.

On the pavement a few feet away, a Common Wasp stood over the body of an insect it had caught and was eating.

Above it, a Common Carder bumblebee peacefully collected pollen from a flower.


  1. It's sooooo pretty, that Bumblebee! I shall content myself with petting its screen image though.

    Has the Asian Hornet arrived in England? It is causing many problems in Spain, deaths included. We are expecting it to arrive in Extremadura for next summer, which is going to be very hard on the poor honey bees. There is a host of their natural predators here, starting with the fearsome European Hornet, but scientists doubt that it'll be enough to control the invasion.

    That poor Blackbird looks so tatty it almost looks diseased. I am sure that the reason why my beloved canary bird lived as long as he did (17 years) is because he never had to raise chicks (the first couple of years the silly dear would try to feed his own feet by stuffing food between his toes, but he soon got over it).

  2. There have been a few sightings of Asian hornets in England, each followed by an attempt to eradicate the colony. It's certainly not established yet, but probably it will get through. For a while people were panicking when they saw the big ginger European hornets (not sure what species they belong to, but our usual hornets look like oversized wasps). But these are quite different and fairly docile.

    How curious about the deluded canary. Have never heard of anything like that before.