Saturday 17 July 2021

It was a hot day. A Magpie sensibly stayed in the shade of a tree.

Most of the small birds were sheltering too. There was a view of a Goldcrest inside a holly tree near the bridge ...

... while a family of Long-Tailed Tits passed overhead. This is one of the young ones.

The pair of Chiffchaffs near the Italian Garden have nested again, and could be seen flying in and out of a hawthorn tree looking for insects for their young.

A young Carrion Crow, still with blue eyes, looked hot on the parapet.

I gave it a peanut in the shell to see if the bird had learnt how to open it. It hadn't, so I shelled the nut and gave it back. Even then the little crow was having difficulty. It will learn quickly.

The usual Jay here has no such problem, and followed me down the path to get as many peanuts as possible.

Ahmet Amerikali got a good shot yesterday of the Reed Warbler nesting under the Italian Garden ...

... and a Wren at the Lido.

One of the young Grey Herons at the island stared down intently from a post.

The Coots' nest built against the mooring post of the tern raft on the Long Water has been commandeered by a heron to use as a fishing platform.

The Great Crested Grebe chick from the bridge prodded its mother to encourage her to find a fish for it, but she wasn't feeling energetic.

The four Mute cygnets on the Long Water cruised in an orderly procession.

One of the blond Egyptian teenagers preened its pale wings. Egyptian Geese have very large wings for their size, for no apparent reason.

The fountain pools in the Italian Garden contain Common Carp in three sizes -- tiny fry, young fish about 3 inches long, and adults weighing around 15 lb (5 kg).

A pair of Black-Tailed Skimmers mated on the edge of the Serpentine. It's a complicated process taking several minutes, here seen at its end when they suddenly disengaged and flew away.

A Common Blue Damselfly rested on an iris leaf in the Italian Garden.

A Honeybee worker browsed on Mexican Orange flowers in the Rose Garden. The pollen she had collected was bright orange. I wonder whether that is the colour of the pollen of these white flowers, since bees usually stick to one kind of flower at a time.


  1. Are Egyptian Goose wings inordinately large? They have a smaller average wingspan than a Barnacle Goose, though the latter is lighter on average. They have a higher average weight to wingspan ratio than a Shelduck, though a considerably lower one than a Cormorant or a Muscovy Duck.

    Seeing extraordinary numbers of a small hoverfly in a north London garden, hope to get back with identification. Jim

    1. I don't know. Wingspan is only one dimension. Just from looking at them you get the impression of a medium-sized bird with wings that are quite long and very broad, so the wing loading seems low.

    2. I agree the wings look relatively large for members of the duck clade, but although they aren't called upon for some of the migratory feats of the true geese, no doubt the wing strength is an asset when fighting for territory/mates/nest sites v. other species/defending young. I wonder if there is a size threshold above which the benefits of larger wings in such regards prevails over smaller wings' advantages in diving away from danger, unless you are a specialist surface-diver e.g. Eider, Merganser, Cormorant, Diver. Jim

  2. The Grebe mother must have been very tired to ignore the chick's insistent prodding so. She looks ready to doze off where she is.

    There is something very endearing about a clumsy young crow. A silly adult crow is a metaphysical impossibility. Reality would implode on itself.

    1. Oh, crows can be silly when they feel like it. They have ridiculous squabbles, more horseplay than real fighting, and roll around on the ground. And look at this.

    2. Great crow fun, thanks for the link.

    3. Hooded crows are as intelligent as they are evil, and if they are Russian, as that one is, doubly so!

    4. I think evil is attainable only by humans. Even after watching this.

    5. God, the use of the music!!! Whoever it is ought to get an oscar.

    6. I usually hate added music, but this is superbly done.