Wednesday 16 September 2020

If you are a Robin you are in constant danger, not just from predators but from the Robin in the next bush -- which might actually be your mate from the nesting season, but that won't stop it from trying to murder you if you trespass on its territory. It's wise to keep looking around for possible threats.

This Robin near Peter Pan is used to being fed but won't come to your hand. It expects food to be put on top of the gatepost. People respect its wishes, so it has no need to change its habits. 

A Starling ate the fruit of a Cabbage Palm. This tree, Cordyline australis, is a native of the Pacific islands but does well in the English climate and has become a hit with the local fruit-eating birds.

A young Herring Gull splashed furiously. This helps to rinse parasites out of its feathers, and also goes some way to making its very water-repellent feathers wet, which helps with preening.

Another young gull hauled up a crayfish ...

... and was promptly set upon by the others.

The young Grey Heron in the Dell looked for fish on the edge of the small waterfall.

The Great Crested Grebe family from the east end of the island have now reached the stage where, instead of begging to be fed, they go fishing with their parents.

Blondie the Egyptian Goose preened her fine pale wings. It seems a waste that she hardly ever uses them, staying within 100 yards of the place beside the Serpentine where she first saw the light of day. She has been to the Round Pond once, and once -- greatly daring -- to St James's Park for a few days.  (Sorry, I meant to cut this not madly interesting video down to 30 seconds, but accidentally uploaded the long version. Well, it might as well stay. You don't have to watch it all.)

As we've often seen, Egyptians have no idea of the northern seasons and will breed at any time of year. Mid-September is really no time to start a family.

This Canada Goose is slightly lame, causing it to do an exaggerated version of the goose step.

The Shoveller drake in the middle of the group is beginning to go into his fine breeding plumage.

(There are only three Shovellers in this picture -- the duck at the back is a Mallard.)

The three young Mallards on the Serpentine are now almost as big as their mother, and their wings are developing. The mother, at the back, is still regrowing her flight feathers after moulting, so they're all grounded for the time being.

A Honeybee climbed into a fuchsia flower.

A male Common Darter dragonfly in the Rose Garden had caught a fly, and munched it leisurely on a sun-warmed path.

Mark Williams sent this pleasing picture of a male Willow Emerald damselfly in St James's Park.

As in this park, they've had an abundant season. Apart from a few isolated sightings they've only been in this country since 2009, but are spreading rapidly.


  1. Tiny lovable feather balls, Robins, even in the midst of murdering rampages.

    The poor lame Goose does indeed exemplify the meaning of the expression perfectly.

    I could watch Blondie for hours.

    1. It's absolutely necessary to see Robins frequently.

      And, talking of necessary birds. a commenter may have found the missing Buck Hill owls. Will try to check on my next visit.

  2. Good to have another Willow Emerald record-nice shot.

    I guess the Egyptian Geese shouldn't have a problem weather-wise as it's usually pretty mild up to Xmas at least. Just the eternal problem of predation!

    Hope to go & see some Long-tailed Blues near Brighton today; a species I've only seen in the UK once before in Kent. This sis the second year there's been a colony near Brighton, though the species is thought to be unable to take our winters.

    1. I think any Egyptian goslings that don't get eaten will be OK. Ice on the Serpentine is always broken by the good people at Bluebird Boats to leave a decent sized area of open water.