Tuesday, 21 May 2019

A Whitethroat sang on a tree in the Rose Garden. There seem to be more than usual of these birds at the moment -- they are not common in central London.

A Blackbird was in good voice in a tree nearby.

An adult Long-Tailed Tit and a young one perched side by side in a hawthorn tree.

At the bridge, an Adult Grey Wagtail was on one post ...

... and a young one on another, waiting to be fed. But the adult seemed to think it had had enough for the time being, so I didn't get an action shot.

Two young Grey Herons faced each other across the little stream in the Dell.

Then one of them went down to gaze longingly at carp far too large for it to eat.

A pair of Moorhens chased each other. One gave a wide berth to the heron -- they have been known to try to eat Moorhens -- and the other preened.

Both the Coots that were evicted from their nests by herons had bounced back. One of them celebrated by decorating the nest with a red plastic toy boomerang.

One of the Coot nests foolishly sited on the edge of the Serpentine has been abandoned, and a Greylag Goose was going through the twigs looking for insects.

A pair of Mute Swans nesting on the Serpentine island have three new cygnets.

The pair on the Long Water were back on their little island, and only one of the cygnets was visible.

The three Mallard ducklings on the Long Water are already able to catch flying midges.

There was a female Mandarin at the Vista, the first seen for a while. Evidently a nesting attempt has failed.

Mandarins fare poorly in the park, but there is a thriving colony not far away on the Regent's Canal.

I think this is a female Common Blue Damselfly. It was near the Serpentine Gallery.

But I have no idea what this is -- I don't even know if it's animal or vegetable. There were several of them in the moth-spun webs on the bush near the Triangle car park.

There are some particularly vivid purple irises in the Rose Garden.


  1. Whitethroats are so infrequent here, I am green with envy. Lovely bird, as is the entire sylvia genus.

    That is the exact same purple iris I meant the other day! Round here they always flower near Easter, and their purple colour has always been linked to Christ's passion.

    No wonder the Moorhen gave the Heron a wide berth. I think I can almost hear what the Heron is thinking.

    I wonder how it came to be that Andersen decided to call a cygnet "the ugly duckling". They are so pretty, it doesn't make sense.

    1. Yes, I have always thought that Andersen wrote that story without looking. He wouldn't be the only writer to ignore reality.

  2. Agree with the damselfly ID. The photo below seems to show a catkin that's blown into the webbing.

    Plenty of Whiethroats on my patch though I'm a fair way from central London.

  3. Thanks for identifying that sinister-looking object.

    We seem to have three singing male Whitethroats in the park. The song is quite distinctive. But in previous years I've only heard one very occasionally.

    1. I rest easier in the knowledge that it isn't one of the Pod People, as I had feared.

    2. Yes, I feared that it would hatch into some monstrous flying creature.