Sunday 2 August 2020

While most of the small birds remain hidden and silent in the bushes, Blackcaps get themselves noticed by their loud tut-tutting. This is a young male just getting black feathers on his head.

Duncan Campbell couldn't identify this bird call coming from a bush near the tennis courts, and neither can I. Does anyone recognise it?

A young Blackbird ate rowan berries on Buck Hill.

A young Wood Pigeon got bored with berries and nibbled experimentally at a red leaf.

The Little Owls were hard to find again today, but finally I saw the young one preening in the usual lime tree ...

... and his mother in the next tree. She had to be photographed with the camera pointed vertically upwards, a very uncomfortable thing to do with a camera with a heavy 600mm lens.

A Carrion Crow bathed in ants on a nest in the long grass of the fenced-off area at the leaf yard.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull and his mate had finished their lunch and gone away, leaving a Herring Gull to pick over the remains.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks at the Serpentine island passed confidently under a Herring Gull on a post. The speed at which they can crash dive protects them from aerial attack, and the gull knows it. A parent brought a fish.

The grebe on the nest at the Diana fountain reed bed continued its patient vigil.

Another look at the Moorhen family running around the water lilies in the Italian Gardens fountain.

The Moorhen chicks at Peter Pan are growing fast and losing their original black colouring.

One of the dark Mallard drakes rested under the willow near the bridge. He is almost back in full breeding plumage, well in advance of the normally coloured Mallards.

The bees in the Rose Garden are generally not much interested in the roses, preferring other flowers. But a Honeybee made an exception for a fragrant old-fashioned red rose.

A Meadow Brown butterfly perched among what we used to call 'goosegrass' when I was a boy, though that name is given to many different plants.

Tom sent this picture of a fine new painting of a male Hen Harrier at Rainham Marshes, terrorising people who venture to the lavatory.


  1. That's Terror Bird size, at least!. This very funny cartoon deals with the sad state of affairs of the tragic loss of bird size:

    1. All is not lost. See this. I wish I had a higher resoultion version of Ronald Searle's fine drawing.

    2. I have no doubt at all the smaller birds at the unsuspecting old lady's feet would do likewise if they only could!

  2. The mystery bird call is reminiscent of Chiffchaff subsong, though it seems to lack the attitude.

    That is the first I've knowingly seen of a male Blackcap in transition, great capture.

    More of muralist ATM's birds can be seen here. Jim