Wednesday 12 August 2020

Another hot day, and the promised thunderstorm hasn't turned up yet.

Little Owls are at home around the Mediterranean, even inhabiting sandy desert areas, and don't mind the heat. The female owl on Buck Hill preened and looked down imperturbably -- we have known each other for eight and a half years.

Just up the hill, a noisy family group of Long-Tailed Tits worked its way through a bush. While the other small birds slow down and skulk in the shade, these keep going at full speed.

A Carrion Crow had a drink at the small pool in the Dell.

A Mistle Thrush looked out of the rowan tree on Buck Hill. It must be one of our residents, as the autumn migrants haven't arrived yet.

The Reed Warblers and their families are still here, hard to see in the reeds now that the males have stopped singing and the young birds have quietened down. Ahmet Amerikali got a good picture of one in the reed bed below the Diana fountain.

He also got another view of a young Goldcrest by the bridge.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull chased off a Carrion Crow that was trying to eat the pigeon he was sharing with his mate.

Later they let a juvenile gull have a go at the pigeon. It's almost certainly their offspring. It too had to repel some crows.

There are more Lesser Black-Backs than usual at the moment, a couple of dozen, though they are still vastly outnumbered by Herring Gulls. Here are some on the posts at Peter Pan.

The Great Crested Grebe family from the west end of the island were having a quiet moment. One of the chicks took a feather offered by its mother.

Their father was idling a few feet away ...

... when he could have been catching some of the hundreds of young carp that were moving along the edge.

One of the Canada x Greylag Goose hybrids came over looking hopeful. This is an old bird well used to the ways of park visitors.

The seven young Egyptians on the Round Pond are almost grown up. Their mother is in the middle.

A Common Blue butterfly perched in a rose bush.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee worked its way over a clump of bog sage.

The wildflower bed at the back of the Lido has mostly failed this year, but there is one patch with a good variety of flowers.


  1. The Lesser Black-back certainly does look angry as he chases off the Crow- great capture. Beautiful shot too of the Great-crested Grebe family.

    1. Normally those dominant gulls can make a crow back off by their mere presence, but sometimes the crows get above themselves and need a sharp reminder to behave.

  2. Pigeon Killer is darn scary. I would run away too.

    Love so much the video of the Long-Tailed Tits, especially the lovely bird having a bit of a preen for the benefit of its admirers.

    The Little Owl does indeed look at you like an old friend. She looks calm and almost as if she was expecting you.

    Why did the wildflower patch fail, I wonder?

    1. Thee are two wildflower patches in Hyde Park and both have mostly failed. There was a manpower shortage during the great panic, and they were both started much later than they should have done.

      There is also a patch in Kensington Gardens around Peter Pan. This has not been maintained after it was planted two years ago, and is healthy but two species -- oxeye daisies and cowparsley -- have dominated the other plants.

      So the ideal wild-looking patch with a large variety of flowers is as much a construct as the most artificial herbaceous border.