Saturday 29 June 2019

On a hot day, a Carrion Crow in one of the old chestnut trees was panting to keep cool.

So was a Magpie on Buck Hill ...

.. and another in the now disused Grey Herons' nest on the island.

A Cormorant on a post at Peter Pan cooled itself by vibrating its throat in the peculiar way that Cormorants have.

The birds have almost completely stopped singing. Even the Robins, which sing at most times of the year, are silent for the moment. A couple of Reed Warblers uttered a few phrases, and so did this Blackcap in a chestnut.

A Blackbird beside the Long Water was alarmed by a Magpie above her in the tree. When I went past again an hour later, the Magpie was still there and the Blackbird was still uttering her alarm call.

The Great Crested Grebes from the nest under the fallen poplar have two chicks. Each parent was carrying one.

The Coots from the nest on the post at Peter Pan have three chicks, which they had sensibly moved to a sheltered place under a bush.

The Mallard here has four surviving ducklings, the same number as yesterday.

The park was very crowded, and the only goslings to be seen on the Serpentine were these seven little Egyptians taking refuge behind the railings of one of the small boathouses.

I hope they aren't the same brood as the one that numbered 14 yesterday.

More Red-Crested Pochards have arrived on the Long Water and there are seven now, all drakes.

The heat didn't discourage a pair of Mute Swans from mating on the Serpentine.

A Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonfly rested on a reed near the Italian Garden.

The patch of British wildflowers in the Rose Garden is not very wild, as it's re-sown every year, but it's pretty.


  1. The crow and the magpies look really frazzled by the heat. Poor things.

    Seo Birdlife here has instructed people to put up shallow dishes filled with water in gardens, terraces and balconies for birds to drink. It's got pretty bad.

    1. Up to 34° here, apparently. However, the recording was at Heathrow, a place of concrete washed with jet exhausts, probably chosen to give exaggerated reports. There was a picture of the French weather station that registered 47°, and it was on a tiled roof without any kind of heat shielding, so what does one believe?

    2. Pictures of 47ºC taken in uninsulated weather stations in Seville or Córdoba are a summer staple here. The real temperatures are always significantly lower (5 to 6 degrees lower, on average), but it makes good copy for the media.

      In any case I feel for the French. In Spain there is A/C everywhere, buildings and houses have been traditionally built considering geographical orientation (facing north or northeast as much as possible), and are insulated against the heat as much as possible. And most of us know better than to leave our homes, except to work, before nightfall.