Wednesday 14 July 2021

A family of Reed Warblers could be heard in the reed bed east of the Lido, where I haven't noticed them before.

The Wren family on the east side of the Long Water were moving around in the bushes, hard to see but one of the adults perched on a twig for a moment.

There were young Blue Tits in the shrubbery at the southwest corner of the bridge.

On the other side of the path a Magpie fluffed itself up on a branch.

A young Herring Gull finished off the remains of a pigeon that had probably been taken by the new pigeon-killing adult Herring Gull, which was resting not far away after a heavy meal.

The male Great Crested Grebe at the east end of the island, having passed his chick over to his mate, stretched his wings which were cramped from being held up to make a playpen.

A pair of Moorhens beside the Long Water ate each other's fleas and lice -- a bonding ritual combined with a tasty snack.

A teenage Moorhen came ashore from the island. Note how when walking it holds its toes together on the raised foot to avoid catching them on the other ankle.

On a warm day the Diana fountain was full of children cooling off in the water. The Egyptian Geese were refusing to be scared off by the crowds. Blondie was among them.

The Mallards are moulting their flight feathers and had gathered into a band for safety on the edge of the Serpentine.

There was also a Pochard drake in eclipse and now looking much like a female, except for his red eyes.

A rather tattered Red Admiral butterfly rested on the grass beside the path, and actually on the path, taking no notice of the passing humans.

A Small White in the Rose Garden was also looking worse for wear.

Three interesting bee pictures from Duncan Campbell. First, a close-up of the bee we saw in his video yesterday, which we now know is a Patchwork Leaf-Cutter Bee.

He thinks this that is a Yellow-Legged Mining Bee (Andrena flavipes) ...

... and that this one is a Davies' Colletes Bee (Colletes daviesanus), also called Davies' Plasterer Bee and Davies' Polyester Bee. This is a solitary bee that makes itself an underground burrow which it lines with a waterproof coating of a natural polyester resembling Cellophane. It sometimes makes its home in the mortar joints of brickwork, damaging the wall.

On the path at the top of the Dell there is an intoxicating fragrance from the blossom on a Silver Lime tree.


  1. Being a bee expert must be every bit as difficult as being a gull expert. The variety is bewildering.

    What a lovely mental image of the Grebe forming a playpen for his chick!

    Always a delight to see Blondie.

    1. I can make some kind of a guess at hoverflies. But when it comes to bees, I just throw myself on the mercy of Conehead 54.

  2. Daft question, Ralph. The reed beds are, what, 10, 15 years old or thereabouts. How do you think the reed warblers found them; and how long did it take? This is Felicity asking.

    1. I think they came along the Regent's Canal, which has occasional patches of reeds, from the Lea river in east London, and when they arrived at the junction with the Grand Union Canal they did a bit of reconnaissance and found the new reed beds in the park. They have been here at least since 2013.

    2. Just remarkable, for a not very large bird.

    3. But they also migrate to and from tropical Africa.