Thursday 22 August 2019

A Kestrel and a Carrion Crow had a dogfight over Buck Hill.

It was surprising to see a male Kestrel here, because usually it's a female that patrols the north edge of the park.

At the foot of the hill, Magpies dug busily around the base of a tree where evidently there were insects.

There was a female Willow Emerald Damselfly on the railings, the first I've seen in the park.

She perched obligingly on a spike and allowed herself to be filmed.

A bit farther along the path a Small White butterfly fed on a buddleia blossom.

A Wood Pigeon reached down to eat an unripe holly berry -- they must have a heroic digestive system. As usual, a few seconds later it overbalanced and fell out of the tree.

A young Starling on the edge of the Serpentine gave me an inquisitive stare.

The Great Crested Grebes at the east end of the island have two chicks. One of them reached to take a fish.

At the west end of the island, the place where the other pair of grebes nested is now crowded with Cormorants.

Two young Moorhens were strangely coloured by sunlight reflected off a red boat.

A Greylag Goose looked for insects and snails in the remains of the Coots' nest under the balcony of the Dell restaurant. One of the Coots passed, but they have lost interest in the site and it didn't intervene.

A pair of Greylags mated. They have left it a bit late.

The Tufted Duck and her four ducklings were on the Long Water.

When one of the ducklings dived and brought up some edible object, they were set upon by Black-Headed Gulls -- but these are too small to actually harm them.

A Mute Swan poked into the stream of bubbles from one of the air jets that are supposed to oxygenate the Serpentine. They bring up a lot of silt, and evidently edible creatures with it.


  1. That no one should be afraid of you must be the height of indignity for any self-respecting Gull.

    That is a very nice, kind, and accomodating Damselfly. I hope she will live long and prosper.

    1. Black-Headed Gulls make up for their small size by living to a great age and travelling far and wide. Not a bad life, all things considered.

  2. Well done on the Willow Emerald discovery! They have been recorded in nearby Buckingham Palace gardens the previous two years. Can you tell me whether this was Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens for my database please? Should be a good few days for insect activity with summery weather returning.

    Nice to see the Tuftie family doing well.

    1. It was Kensington Gardens, on the railngs near the Buck Hill shelter.

  3. Thanks, Ralph. We found several at Bookham Common today. First I've seen there but have been known for at least a couple of years there.

    1. See today's blog, where a male Willow Emerald has just been added, picture by Mark Williams. I think this one was in St James's Park, but need to check.