Sunday 21 July 2019

Only time for a quick visit to the park today. But the male Little Owl was on his favourite branch, much more visible than the female's usual place ...

... and so was the young Robin in the shrubbery in the Rose Garden.

This isn't the first time we've seen the young Pied Wagtail here at the edge of the Dell restaurant terrace. It's an ideal spot, with the food split by diners attracting insects for the bird to catch, but separated from the humans by a low fence.

The Great Crested Grebe under the willow near the bridge sat peacefully on its stolen nest.

The pair of Coots in the Italian Gardens fountain ruthlessly ripped up water lilies to make their nest. It's probably too exposed to succeed.

I think that this Egyptian family on the Serpentine is the one that lost a gosling when it strayed off ...

... and joined this family, whose own goslings are older and larger. It's on the right of the picture, between three of the bigger ones.

The two ducklings of the Mallard on the Serpentine are now large enough to have a fair chance of survival.

Tom sent some good pictures from Richmond Park. A female Kestrel waited on a stump for a mouse to come into view or, failing that, a grasshopper.

The Little owlet was on the usual dead oak tree.

Here's his video of it. You'll never see the perfectly camouflaged owl until it moves.

A Grass Snake swam across one of the Pen Ponds.

Two White Letter Hairstreak butterflies on an oak twig. The 'white letter' is the rather vague W on the hind wing.

There are other alphabetical insects: the Silver Y moth, the Hebrew Character moth, and the familiar Comma butterfly. The budding acorns on the twig are deformed by insect infestation and will not develop, a condition also seen in Hyde Park, but some of the acorns still develop normally.

Update: just told that it's a Purple Hairstreak. But both species have the W mark.


  1. I was just going to say they were Purple Hairstreaks when i saw your up-date. On white-letter, the W looks much more like the letter. Oak is the larval food plant of Purple so are largely seen on them, but not exclusively. Good photo of them. Possibly the commonest butterfly in Richmond Park, though you wouldn't think that as they are largely in the tree tops.

    Not sure if there's any elm in Richmond Park which is the larval food plant of White-letter; I don't recall seeing any. I remember the first ones I ever saw weren't too far away near the Green Man at Putney Heath. Now I have colonies walking distance from home.

    Unusual shot of Grass snake. Good to know they're still there! I think somebody posting of a Buzzard in Richmond Park flying off with a snake.

    1. Thanks for the information. A Buzzard flying with a snake would make a fine picture.

  2. Will this make an acceptable substitute for buzzard-and-snake?

    1. The world is now divided into two kinds of people: those who think it's genuine, and those who think it's photoshopped.

    2. Oh, the Little Owl does look pretty angry. Or perhaps it is just curious - I am awful at reading expressions.

    3. I don't think the Little Owl is annoyed. He has been watching me for seven years and I am just a daily event now.