Thursday 4 July 2019

The Great Crested Grebes nesting against the baskets at the island have at least one new chick.

The pair on the Long Water let their chicks have a swim. The third was on its parent's back and I couldn't get a picture of all three at once.

A pair of Moorhens with two chicks ate duckweed under the parapet of the Italian Garden. You can hear the six fountains in the garden.

A Moorhen enjoyed a vigorous wash on the edge of the Serpentine.

The Mallard at Peter Pan still has six ducklings.

The Egyptians with seven goslings were feeding under the trees on the south side of the Serpentine.

The family of six were on the other side of the lake, playing in the shallow water.

The female Kestrel has been quite hard to find recently, but today she was perched in a plane tree .near the Italian Garden.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was calling from an oak tree just to the east of her usual one.

There was a lot of insect activity. The Red-Eyed Damselflies on the algae in the Italian Garden fountain all got the same idea at once, and were mating frantically.

Update: These may be Small Red-Eyed Damselflies rather than the larger species, since the small ones were seen the following day. The video is not close enough to distinguish the species.

Common Blue Damselflies were also mating in a more sedate fashion on the edge of the Serpentine.

So were some Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonflies.

The female flew along the edge of the lake, stitching eggs into the algae.

This female on Buck Hill wasn't doing anything, but she is too beautiful to omit.

On the other side of the path a Comma butterfly settled on a leaf.

Ahmet Amerikali was in Southwark Park, and sent two good pictures. The Little Grebes have lost one chick but still have two.

And some Canada Geese have bred -- unlike any of those in the central London parks.


  1. Some nice shots of the Odonata. Enjoyed the video of egg-laying Red-eyed Damsels- quite a few pairs!

    1. It was quite a spectacle. I only filmed about half of them.

  2. That's a splendid golden-looking bug if there ever was one (they're bugs, right? I've read that only "an insect that has hemielytra and piercing-sucking mouthparts" can be called a bug, though). In Spanish bugs used to be called bichos (from vulgar Latin bestius, "animal"), but nowadays everything is a bicho, from poorly behaved children to ugly looking men down to birds.

    Welcome back to the long-absent female Kestrel!

  3. Really 'bugs' for all insects is an Americanism, but I use it sometimes to describe what Pied Wagtails are digging out of the algae because I don't know what they're finding.

    I read that in Portugal, the morning shot of bagaceira (spirit made from grape skins) that people drink to set them up is called the matabixo (bug killer), evidently referring to bedbugs.

    1. Yep, same word; the Spanish translation for that draught is mata-bicho.

      Speaking of heartening, pick-me-up, wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee beverages, I feel the need to exhume remembrances of the old pasalasierra (literally, "go over the hill"), an alcoholic spirit from the north of Extremadura famously said to reach 60% in alcohol content. That was the stuff muleteers of old took to brave the passage on foot of the only snow-covered mountain pass that connected the north of Extremadura with the adjoining region. Sadly it is no longer sold, although I am told that it tasted like an alien's (as in the movie Alien) spit would.

    2. I'm reading Patrick Leigh Fermor's book Abducting a General, about his kidnapping of General Kreipe, the senior German officer in occupied Crete. He and his companions are sustaining themselves on the snowy mountains with mulberry raki.