Tuesday 13 July 2021

Several Blackcaps were still singing around the Long Water, hard to see in the leaves but here is one lurking in a holly tree.

The Reed Warbler on the Long Water also sang occasionally, and appeared for a moment near the Italian Garden.

The very tame Coal Tit in the Flower Walk may be the one usually on the other side of the Albert Memorial, pushed off its usual patch by the disturbance of the huge 'Van Gogh Alive' show. (I have news for the organisers: he isn't.)

Wood Pigeons seem to be able to eat any kind of vegetation, however tough. These two are eating the leaves of an ash tree.

Sorry to say that this Carrion Crow near the Dell was eating a baby bird.

The Great Crested Grebe chick under the bridge urged its father to stop preening and get some fish for it.

A pair on the other side of the bridge were doing a bit of synchronised fishing. This is an efficient technique because fish escaping from one grebe may be caught by the other.

The wire baskets filled with twigs under each end of the bridge serve as fish hatcheries. This one was refilled with fresh willow cuttings earlier this year. Some of them have sprouted, providing a nesting place for a pair of Coots as well as food for Mute Swans They are now putting down roots and threaten to turn into trees.

The cygnets on the Serpentine have learnt from the parents that they can rest in the middle of the path and people will walk round them.

Yesterday's big thunderstorm flooded the grass beside the Serpentine so deeply that Canada Geese could swim over it, and also caused the Round Pond to overflow. Virginia was out in it and took this video on her phone.
Female Tufted Ducks are usually overlooked while people admire the smart black and white drakes, but they are handsome creatures. 

A Red Admiral butterfly rested on a nettle.

Duncan Campbell sent this interesting slow-motion video of a Leaf-Cutter Bee. It is using its back legs to scrape pollen off the knapweed flower and then store it in brushes under its abdomen. He isn't sure what species it is, but thinks it might be Willoughby's or Patchwork. Update: Conehead 54 confirms that it's a Patchwork Leaf-Cutter Bee (Megachile centuncularis).
A Day Lily in the Flower Walk attracted a Marmalade Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) and some ants.



  1. I love the shiny eye of the Blackcap. It has such an intelligent face.

    The Coat Tit seems to be sighing and saying 'that's humans for you'. It doubtless knows that 'Van Gogh Alive' is an impossible proposition.

    The thunderstorm must have been truly intense, to cause such a flood. Leave it to the geese to make the most of any situation though.

    1. Blackcaps are intensely aware of people looking at them. Coal Tits, though skittish, can at least be bribed to stay in sight by the prospect of a delicious pine nut.

      The storm was severe and long, but the park is very easy to flood because of the impervious London clay subsoil, composed of particles scraped off rocks during the last Ice Age and deposited in what later became the Thames valley.

  2. Nice video of the leafcutter bee. I certainly have been seeing Patchwork Leafcutters in my garden & are nesting in one of my bee boxes.

    There's been a huge influx of Marmalade Flies in recent days-biggest immigration for several years. I'm often seeing several on a single flower.

    1. Thanks for the identification. There were lots of Marmalade flies here too.