Wednesday, 15 July 2020

The park gardeners told me that they had rescued a Little Owl chick on Buck Hill a month ago, so I went to look for it. Now grown to full size but still not independent, it was calling for food and so quite easy to find.

Its mother was also calling from the lime tree next to the one where I often see a female owl, though I couldn't get a view of her. This surprised me, because this owl is one of the pair that arrived in Kensington Gardens as adults in 2012 and are therefore nine years old. I thought they had stopped breeding by now. Congratulations to them on their endurance.

The Grey Heron chick on the island could also be heard calling for food, but the nest is invisible in a birch tree and you can only get an occasional glimpse of the head of a standing adult. The other parent was in a neighbouring birch tree.

The Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island were still next to the moored electric boat. At this stage grebe families are very static. The parent looking after the chicks stays in the same place day after day while the other parent goes off to fish.

A grebe chick near the bridge stretched out a large foot.

The five chicks of the latest brood of Coots in the Italian Garden are now out of the nest and being fed by their parents in the fountain pool.

The Egyptian Goose family with the blond father and goslings went over the sandy horse track beside the Serpentine to nibble at the scanty grass. There are only five goslings left now. A Carrion Crow would clearly have liked to reduce that to four, but one look from their mother sent it away.

The five Greylag teenagers were on the other side of the lake. Their plumage is subtly different from an adult's, with finer markings and less contrast, and they have a butterscotch-coloured bill and feet.

The dominant Mute Swan family on the Long Water came up to the edge of the Italian Garden.

The Blackcap and Greenfinch families were together in a tree beside the Long Water. I got a picture of one of the Blackcaps, which had clearly been eating blackberries ...

... but not a Greenfinch, so here is a fine picture of the father of this family by Zhou Zichen.

A Dunnock sang briefly in a bush in the Rose Garden, then went down into a flower bed and found a small larva.

At this time of year insects are plentiful and not many small birds are coming to be fed. But I have a few regular Great Tits, including this one at the bridge.

Mark Williams took this pleasing picture of a young Robin just getting its first red feathers.

It was at St Luke's Church in Sydney Street, Chelsea, built by James Savage in 1819 and notable as the first neo-Gothic church to actually be a Gothic structure of vaults and buttresses rather than a brick box with Gothic features plastered on to it.

Tom found a Brimstone butterfly and a Honeybee on a spike of purple loosestrife.


  1. I was in a hurry today thinking it might rain but the owl's I managed to walk and walk and walk ....and saw a White butterfly in the wilderness...
    Truly ...must talk to park rangers

    1. British weather forecasts are a work of fiction.

  2. The nave is certainly impressive! It also looks as if it'd have excellent acoustics.

    Isn't the young Robin lovely, with its little clumps of new red feathers? And the Little Owl youngster blinking so adorably!

    That's a good attentive mother, the Egyptian. I hope it will be more attentive and guarded than usual in the species.

    1. Opinion is divided about that church. Some admire its rigorous correctness, others find it arid. Neo-Gothic hadn't yet settled into its cosy Victorian look.

      I was amazed to find that the old female owl had managed to produce another owlet. Now I need to find where her mate is spending his days -- I haven't seen him for months.

  3. I am such a novice in all neck of woods...but I don't bite long as we belong ...and still enjoying creation and nature like Attenborough..