Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate shared their latest victim in the usual place near the Dell restaurant. A hungry Carrion Crow took advantage of a moment of inattention and the female shooed it away. The male gull always washes his face after a meal. He is very particular about his appearance.

A strayed racing pigeon wandered around on the path at the foot of Buck Hill. It seemed happy to be with the ordinary Feral Pigeons and showed no sign of wanting to leave.

This is one of the two young Blackbirds on the lawn to the east of the Dell. It's still being fed by its parents.

Here is the first view of a chick in the Great Crested Grebe nest at the east end of the island.

The father of the two chicks near the bridge looked proudly at his offspring.

One of the other set of two chicks was preening its shining white belly.

A Coot fussed around in a nest in one of the planters in the Italian Garden fountains. It's their third nest this year.

The four Mute Swan cygnets were at the Lido. They are now going through the gawky ragged stage, but they will look better when they get their first coat of proper feathers.

The Black Swan preened, showing off its new white wing feathers which still have the faintest trace of juvenile black tips.

There is an usually high proportion of pale goslings in this new brood of Egyptian Geese. Their father is pale and their mother normal. Pale males are rarer than females, and I'm pretty sure (though I don't actually know) that colour is sex-linked.

A Mallard near the bridge had one unusually dark duckling.

Young perch about two inches long could be seen in the Long Water from the parapet of the Italian Garden. This is a bad picture, but it was very hard to get one at all.

Honeybees were busy in a patch of Meadow Cranesbill at the back of the Lido.

I tried again to get a picture of the tiny multicoloured wasps in the clump of campanulas next to the Triangle car park. They weren't there, but I did find this small bee which I can't identify. Here are two pictures, the second showing distinctive yellow markings on its face.

Update: Duncan Campbell has definitively identified it as a Common Yellow-Face Bee, Hylaeus communis. He remarks that there are 275 species on bee in Britain.


  1. That creature is a solitary bee. I think Halictidae is the genus.
    I saw this video recently about them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh5eoqdMlAE and should be able to do better.

    1. Thanks for at least a partial identification. It seems that the family contains dozens of genera and hundreds of species.

  2. What an incredible pic of the black swan...
    And the honeybees video is very lively...
    What an unusual looking bee/creature..

    1. The number of bee species is huge, but nothing to the number of beetles.

  3. Once the reservoir from which my town gets its drinking water almost had a sanitation problem because gulls, after spending doubtlessly many enjoyable hours having their pick of the choicest bits of waste at the local garbage dump, would then head off to the reservoir to clean themselves very thoroughly, thus fouling up the water. I'd rather not entertain the thought that we may have been drinking gulls' bathwater for months.

    1. Always best not to think too hard about what's in drinking water.