Monday 5 July 2021

 A Common Tern flew around the Long Water, the first I've seen this year.

More Black-Headed Gulls have returned, and they are playing their favourite game of knocking each other off the posts.

It seems odd that someone named this species 'black-headed' when their heads are obviously brown. The jaw-cracking name recently inflicted on them by taxonomists, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, means 'the leather-headed one that laughs a lot'.

The new pigeon-eating Herring Gull at the Triangle car park had claimed another victim ...

... while a Herring Gull and two Carrion Crows bickered over one of the original pigeon eater's kills at the Dell restaurant.

All this mayhem, assisted by the Sparrowhawks and Peregrines, does nothing to reduce the number of pigeons in the park. More simply arrive to replace the losses.

Neil got an interesting shot of a Feral Pigeon with feathered feet. This is not uncommon, and apparently there are two different genes for it. If a pigeon gets both genes its feet are very feathery indeed. Naturally pigeon fanciers breed these peculiar birds.

Another picture by Neil: a young Chaffinch near the bridge.

A very loud Wren near the leaf yard scolded a Jay on a nearby branch.

Another perched on a net in the Flower Walk.

A Blackcap looked suspiciously over its shoulder before flying away.

A young Rose-Ringed Parakeet pestered a parent for food.

The Great Crested Grebe chick was in its usual place under the bridge.

A Moorhen went to a well hidden nest in the Dell. You can just see the other adult sitting on the right.

Several insects visited an Oxeye Daisy, including a small mining bee (or maybe a mason bee) that walked past a Harlequin Ladybird several times without taking any notice of it.

Two pleasing pictures by Mark Williams: an Emperor dragonfly in St James's Park ...

... and a Marbled White butterfly at the Welsh Harp reservoir.


  1. It does indeed look marbled! Its Spanish name is just stupendous: medioluto norteña, "half-mourner from the North" (not sure if "half-mourner" hits the right sense: traditional Catholic mourning phases pass from "luto riguroso", rigorous mourning, all black, to "medio luto", half-mourning, half-white, half black).

    1. A wonderful name. Half mourning was part of Victorian etiquette here too: from all black (including jet mourning jewellery) you graduated to mainly black with a bit of purple and a bit of white. The Queen was in grey at the opening of Parliament, which was taken to be a modern version of half morning.

  2. Quite a few Marbled Whites around here too when the sun is shining.

    1. They're rare in the park and I've never managed to get a picture of one. Just once, it was perfectly poised on a grass stem. As I lifted the camera, a runner shambled blindly straight at it. Off it went, never to be seen again.