Wednesday 17 June 2020

It was a sunny morning. A Wood Pigeon climbed around on some precariously thin stems to eat a few small pink flowers. It fell down after I took this picture.

The weather had turned grey and forbidding by the time I got to the Little Owl, but she was still in her alder tree.

Then there was a long and loud thunderstorm and I had to shelter. The Blackbirds didn't mind and were hopping around on the wet grass to see what the rain had brought to the surface. Some of them are looking very tatty after feeding their young, whose grabbing beaks rasp off their head feathers.

I was complaining that I hadn't yet seen a young Blackbird this year, so Joan Chatterley kindly sent me a picture of one on her terrace.

Another Blackbird foraged in the Flower Walk after the rain had stopped.

A Moorhen in the Dell had the same idea.

A young Carrion Crow, still with baby blue eyes, begged its parents to feed it.

So did a teenage Magpie, but its parent thought it was old enough to find its own food and ignored it ...

... until its cries and flapping got so annoying that the parent flew away.

Another pleasing picture by Joan, of a young Coal Tit. The ones in the shrubbery near the bridge, which bred successfully last year, don't seem to have managed it again, though I saw both of the pair fairly recently.

A Robin sang in the olive tree behind the Lido.

Now in mid-June the birds are beginning to fall silent, and even Robins will be quiet for a month or two before they start again.

But a Reed Warbler was singing cheerfully near the Diana fountain after the storm had passed.

Greylag Geese rushed around on the lake, unable to fly. But their wing feathers are growing back and they will take off soon.

Moulting Mute Swans do the same. This fine picture is by Virginia.

The young Common Carp browsing in a pool in the Italian Garden are about an inch long.

This beautiful tree with yellow blossom in the Rose Garden is Genista aetnensis, a species of broom.

It comes into flower much later than Common Broom, Cytisus scoparius, which has already produced seed pods. This is the bush that had the Long-Tailed Tits' nest in it.


  1. The English royal dynasty name Plantagenet literally meant 'broom plant', plante genêt, deriving from the Latin planta genista. Although not adopted until the 15th century, it apparently referred to a similar nickname used for Geoffrey, Count of Anjou who became King of Normandy and father of the first 'Plantagenet' English king Henry I. The said Geoffrey reportedly like to wear the gold broom flowers in his hat, but what did he do outside their season? Jim

    1. Probably he wore a badge with broom flowers made of real gold. The rich have always been able to ignore the seasons.

    2. Interesting. I wondered also if it might have been a derogatory nickname at the time for his likely use of gold lion(s), the Norman heraldic motif, that might have been hard to make out in his case so having the appearance of broom blossom. But I don't know at what stage in his life he gained the nickname. Jim

  2. There is a popular song by Joan Manuel Serrat called "Mediterráneo" in which he asks to be buried on top of a mountain, so that his body will become a road and his flesh will give pines their green and genistas their yellow:

    Mi cuerpo será camino
    Le daré verde a los pinos
    y amarillo a la genista

    1. A noble idea. But I would prefer to be eaten by foxes and crows. One shouldn't waste meat, even if it is a bit stringy by now.

  3. Love trees and what a revelation re the broom species...

    The singing robin is so adorable and so are the rest of the birds behavioural pics...

    Thanks all for sharing..

    1. I was baffled by the yellow tree but identified it with PlantNet.