Wednesday 28 July 2021

Both the Little Owls were in a sweet chestnut tree a few yards to the west of where I thought the nest tree was. They were next to a hole and it seems more likely that this is their nest tree. This is the new map reference ...

... and here is a picture of the probable hole.

A close-up of the male.

When he had finished staring at Neil, Tom and me,  he preened.

The Jay family noticed us and came over. Fortunately they were too keen on getting peanuts to notice the owls, which they would have attacked.

The Carrion Crows in the Italian Garden had temporarily left their demanding young on Buck Hill and were relaxing on an urn.

A Black-Headed Gull and a Wood Pigeon perched uneasily side by side on the dead willow.

A Robin in the leaf yard carried a larva to feed its young.

The Great Crested Grebes on the new nest on the Long Water had a moment together.

There are now three chicks in the Coots' nest in the Italian Garden fountain pool.

There was a heavy shower and the people in the pedalos raced back to the platform -- except for two girls who had prudently brought umbrellas.

Four interesting insect pictures from Duncan Campbell (and a fifth added later). First, a pair of White-Jawed Yellow-Faced Bees mating.

This Common Yellow-Faced Bee was unfortunately trapped by a spider ...

... which I can't identify, though I'm sure Conehead 54 can.

Update: Conehead 54 comments: 'I'm not particularly good on spiders but it does look like one of the forms of Candy-Stripe Spider, Enoplognatha ovata/latimana agg.' I have another picture from Duncan which shows the underside of the spider's abdomen, which might help, and will add it now.

A Small Copper butterfly perched on the edge of Rotten Row. I've also seen one on Buck Hill, but it was too restless to photograph.


  1. The raised crest is so funny.
    I think this Little Owl family doesn't know you, right? They look perfecly calm and comfortable, though.

    1. That Jay seems to raise its crest all the time it's with the young ones. Maybe it's a way of reminding them who's the boss.

      The Little Owls do seem to be getting used to people watching them. The original three pairs of owls got so blasé about humans that you had to call out to get them to look at you.

  2. I'm not particularly good on spiders but it does look like one of the forms of Candy-stripe Spider, Enoplognatha ovata/latimana agg.

    Always a pleasure to see a Small Copper-one of my favourite butterflies-pretty feisty. The adults always seem keen on Ragwort-I've seen some good numbers on it in Richmond Park. Importantly they need Sorrel or Sheep's Sorrel to lay their eggs.

    1. Thanks for the tentative identification. These are the two best shots Duncan could get of the trapping, but he did provide one more which shows the underside of the spider's abdomen, which might help. I've added it to the blog, and will also try to notify Tom's friend Howard, who is something of a spider man at Rainham.

    2. Thanks for the confirmation.

  3. Hi Ralph. That’s the hole I saw the Little Owl popping its head out of a few days ago. Another (or perhaps the same one) flew inside shortly after. Thanks for pointing them out.

    1. Thank you. Glad to have confirmation. I found the male owl in the same tree again today.