Monday 19 July 2021

Blackcaps are still singing very late in the year after the other songbirds have almost all fallen silent.

There were two young Robins near the Albert Memorial, just getting their red feathers.

A young Long-Tailed Tit was panting in the heat.

A young Carrion Crow insistently begged to be fed, annoying its parent which pushed it away.

The young Grey Herons from the two nests on the island were spaced out around the edge, fishing behind the wire baskets.

The Great Crested Grebe chick from the east end of the island was being looked after by its father. Thanks to Mateusz of Bluebird Boats for taking me out to get these close-up shots.

Its mother was away finding fish for it. 

There is a new pair of grebes on the Long Water. They were looking at a nest site on the fallen poplar at the Vista, where another pair had nested earlier.
These were farther down the lake with their single chick, so the inevitable territorial dispute hadn't yet started.  

The chick from the nest under the willow, photographed by Neil. 

A young Coot at Peter Pan enviously eyed a Black-Headed Gull which had caught a crayfish. 

The Mute Swans on the Long Water and their four cygnets had a preening session on the artificial island where they nested.

The youngest Greylag gosling was feeling hot, and was sprawled out in the shade with its little wings extended.

The lone Mallard duckling at Peter Pan is beginning to get proper feathers.

Seen in the Italian Garden fountains: the Pond Skater (Gerris lacustris) can run on the surface of the water because its legs are covered with fine hairs that spread the load, so it doesn't break the surface. It 'rows' with its middle legs, steers with its hind legs, and uses its short front legs to seize dead or dying insects.

This one found an insect that was too large and lively to catch, and went after a smaller prey.

Two fine insect pictures from Neil: a Brimstone butterfly on a buddleia blossom ...

... and an Eyed Hawk Moth caterpillar well camouflaged on a hazel leaf.


  1. The Robin is in the middle of the teenager's clumsy phase, although even their clumsy phase is lovely.

    Great to see Blackcaps singing still. Birdsong is sorely missing.

    Can there something be more adorable than the Grebe side by side with its chick?

    1. We will have to wait through the silent hiatus before the Robins start singing again. Even though it means that couples have split up and now hate each other, it's a lovely sound.

  2. Lovely to see the new generation of Brimstones emerging. I saw a couple of females locally on Sunday.

    Neil did well to spot the caterpillar! Nice shot of the skater too.

    1. Neil also did well to photograph the Brimstone. They are restless creatures and it's very hard to catch one staying still for long enough for a picture.