Saturday 22 June 2019

A young Grey Heron insisted on standing in front of the Great Crested Grebe's nest on the Serpentine island, and the two stared at each other with hostility for at least five minutes. This is the last minute, at the end of which the grebe won the faceoff and the heron left.

The four young Coots at the Dell restaurant growing up, and are out and about every day.

There is a new family of Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine, with eight goslings.

The Mute Swans on the Serpentine parked their cygnet carefully on the most crowded part of the shore to attrract the maximum attention and food.

A Jackdaw on an old chestnut tree beside the leaf yard was also hoping for a snack.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial shaded her eyes from the sun with her craggy eyebrows.

The usual Wood Pigeon at Bluebird Boats was in its favourite place on a pedalo.

A Blackcap ticked irritably at something beside the Long Water.

A large carp in one of the Italian Garden fountains flapped its fins to fan water through its gills.

A Red Admiral butterfly perched on a nettle.

Borage is coming up in the wildflower patch behind the Lido, and Honeybees are attracted to its peculiar upside-down flowers.

The 2019 Serpentine pavilion by Junya Ishigami is now open. The interior is interesting if you don't mind having 61 tonnes of slate over your head in a structure without diagonal bracing.

Three fine pictures taken by Tom yesterday at Rainham Marshes. A Wren on a reed -- the same one as I flimed yesterday.

Sunset on the longest day of the year.

A Barn Owl comes out to hunt. This picture was taken in near darkness with an ISO of 5000, giving it the appearance of a late 19th century Autochrome colour photograph.


  1. Not Comfrey but Borage (Borago officinalis)

    1. Thanks. My silly mistake. I was in a hurry. Changed.

  2. What a wondeful picture of the Barn Owl! As eerie and enchanting as the bird itself.

    Well done on the Grebe. I wish humans were as able to smell determination on the part of the opponent as well as birds do. Many conflicts would then be avoided.

    Swans are pretty good at the begging game. I would say shame on them, but who can resist a cygnet?

    1. It was a late opening night at Rainham Marshes. On these nights you can see one or both of the resident Barn Owls come out from the nest box that was put up with them, and reliably fly in front of the visitor Centre on their accustomed hunting round. And if you are patient and skilful and have quick reactions, and know how to set up your camera properly for this moment -- all of which Tom can manage -- you can get a memorable picture. He was standing at the bottom of the ramp that leads from the visitor centre down to marsh level, so as to be as near the owl's flight path as possible.