Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Two different woodpeckers were calling on Buck Hill, and at one point were in the same tree. The Great Spotted Woodpecker hung upside down from a oak twig, something I've never seen before. It must have been looking for insects in the small green flowers.

The Green Woodpecker was hard to photograph, as these shy birds always are, but it finally showed itself in a lime tree.

One of the Long-Tailed Tits at the nest near the Italian Garden posed prettily on a twig ...

... and I got a poor shot of one at the nest near the Henry Moore sculpture bringing in a caterpillar and some insects.

Tom was there and got a better flight shot, which I will put up when he sends it.

Update: here it is.

There was a Chiffchaff in the next tree.

Tom got a good shot of a Willow Warbler.

The three young Grey Wagtails at the Lido were left alone by their mother for a while, and started to look for insects. Not sure how many they actually caught. When their mother came back she was feeding them as usual.

A Magpie washed in the Serpentine ...

... and dried itself on a post.

Virginia sent a fine picture of a Magpie feeding a fledgling which looks quite big enough to find its own food.

One of the Moorhens in the Italian Garden walked over a patch of algae. When they are very small they don't sink in as long as they keep moving.

The on-and-off Mute Swan nest at the small boathouse seems to be on again.

It won't be long now before some of the other nests begin to hatch out.

The two Canada goslings are still in good order.

One of the Mallard ducklings near the Lido darted around looking for midges. Adult ducks will eat insects if they get a chance, but young ones really need them because they are growing fast and need extra protein.

Egyptian goslings and their mother found that they could get under the fence surrounding a patch of new turf.

By the time I got this late shot of a Goldfinch at the Lido the weather had turned nasty, and sleet was falling as I reached home.

Duncan Campbell saw a very odd event, a fly attacking a bee. The bee managed to shake it off. He thinks it was some species of mining bee and can't identify the fly. Neither of us have any idea of what was going on. Here are his pictures.

Update: Jim comments, 'A conopid or thick-headed fly, maybe a Myopa species, maybe Plain-winged Spring Beegrabber.' Follow the link for more information.


  1. A conopid or thick-headed fly, maybe a Myopa species, maybe Plain-winged Spring Beegrabber. Check! Jim

    1. Thank you. Well, there's an appropriate name.

  2. What a strange event. Anyone has any idea why a fly would attack a bee?

    Loving the pictures of the Long Tailed Tits so much!

    1. Jim's comment above seems to have nailed it -- and follow the link he has provided to see more.

    2. Darn. Straight from "Alien, the Eight Passenger".

    3. Yes, I'd had the same idea. Poor bee.

  3. Agree Myopa sp but not a mason bee. It's definitely a mining bee & think it's the Grey-flanked Mining Bee, Andrena nitida.

    Good to see the young birds doing well though yesterday's hail storm won't have been good for them or the insects. Such a contrast to last spring!

    1. Thanks. That was my careless mistake in writing the blog. Duncan did say he thought it was a mining bee.

  4. Always a good blog but the bit about the conopid fly was amazing. I have often seen them but never in action like that.

    1. It was a once in a lifetime observation by Duncan.

  5. Excellent Duncan.
    Absolutely amazing.
    Thanks for sharing your observations.