Wednesday 11 September 2019

The Spotted Flycatcher was in the same place as yesterday, near the bridge on a bare twig at the top of a tree from which it could dart out and catch passing insects.

A large flock of Starlings descended on the only rowan tree on Buck Hill that still has some berries.

It's difficult to know how many Starlings there are in the park, as they are so mobile and you don't know whether you're seeing several flocks or one in different places. Here about sixty are chattering on the roof of the Lido restaurant waiting for a chance to snatch food from an unoccupied table ...

... and a few minutes later you find them crowding into their favourite holly tree near Peter Pan, but are they the same ones?

Some young ones enjoyed a splash on the edge of the lake.

A young Robin on the edge of the Long Water still had a few juvenile brown feathers on its neck.

A Grey Wagtail hunted along the shore at the east end of the Serpentine.

A Grey Heron on a dead tree near the bridge scratched its ear.

This Black-Headed Gull's ring code, T8YT, shows it to be a visitor from Poland. It comes to overwinter here every year, always returning to the same place near the Triangle car park.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull's mate was eating her share of his latest kill. A Carrion Crow sneaked in and grabbed a morsel, and she gave it a stony glare.

It looks as if the Great Crested Grebes' nest in the willow near the bridge has failed. This morning the adults were off the nest, which was occupied by a Coot. The female carried a fish under the bridge as if about to feed a chick, but then ate it herself.

Later they were still near the bridge preening side by side, but there was no sign of a chick.

The very late Moorhen family could be seen in the Dell. Three chicks were visible moving around in the waterside plants.

Two fine pictures from David Element to cheer up an otherwise uneventful day: a Cormorant washing furiously ...

... and a Common Blue Damselfly in flight in the Italian Garden, a very difficult shot to get.


  1. Very nice shot of the moorhen and chick , with their reflections.

    1. We thought the pair would never manage to get any chicks this year. They lost nest after nest but finally succeeded, very late.

  2. I don't think anyone has dared to count Starlings yet for fun. I wonder how they do the scientific bird count.

    Did the eggs not hatch, or was the chick lost? I hope it was the former. Coots have an unhealthy obsession with everybody else's nests.

    How pretty the young Robin looks! How are Robins faring? They aren't making too many appearances.

    1. I think that with enormous flocks of birds, either flying or nesting on open rocky shores, they do the count from still photographs.

      There were at least two chicks in the grebe nest, and sadly they died. It's possible that the nest was started so late that there were no longer any fish small enough to feed the young chicks. Great Crested Grebes don't have the knack of breaking fish up to feed their young as Little Grebes do.

  3. Nice shot of the Spotted Flycatcher. The regular birders of Richmond Park are desperate to find one there as it will be the first year that one hasn't been recorded there- I guess they still have a small chance over the next week or so! I can remember when the odd pair still bred there. I've managed to find one on my local patch a couple of weeks back. Sad to see this charming species decline so much!

    1. There seem to have been quite a few around London recently, judging by reports on the London Bird Club Wiki. But they're recorded in bold type, as if was a rare sighting.

  4. Yes I've noticed that. I think most of the passage migrants that don't breed here like Redstart, Whinchat, etc are bold typed. Probably makes it easier too for the recorders to tally the numbers passing through London for each day.