Tuesday 3 August 2021

The Hobbies in Hyde Park were calling again, between the greenhouses and the Old Police House. The first time that Tom and I visited nothing was visible except a Robin looking up apprehensively at a young Hobby hidden in a plane tree.

I went back later and found an adult in a plane tree, and saw a young one flying between trees though I didn't get a picture.

There was a female Kestrel nearby in the Meadow, the bird who hunts along the north edge of the park. She has two young ones which I could hear begging in nearby trees, though both were out of sight in the leaves.

She is well used to the helicopter ambulance landing and taking off on Buck Hill, and just gave it a cursory glance as it flew low overhead.

The female Little Owl was in the usual chestnut tree, though partly obscured by leaves.

Tom got a picture of a pair of Stock Doves in another chestnut by the leaf yard ...

... and a Greenfinch beside the Long Water.

A Cormorant stood on the fallen poplar in the Long Water, beside a terrapin which had climbed unusually high on a branch.

A Lesser Black-Backed Gull seized a Coot chick on the Serpentine.

One of the Coots nesting for the second time at Peter Pan carefully arranged a crisp packet on the nest. They kept three chicks from the gulls last time -- will they be lucky again?

The Coots in the Italian Garden haven't had such good fortune and are down to one chick. The fountains have been turned off so that algae can be cleared from the pond. But for the Coots, algae is good stuff, tasty and nourishing.

The Great Crested Grebes from the west end of the Serpentine island, with three chicks, had a dispute with the pair from the east end, with one chick. There was a good deal of posturing and displaying but, as usual, it didn't come to a fight.

A Grey Squirrel near the West Carriage Drive tried to mate with a female, but she wasn't in the mood and ran off.

Tom and I thought this butterfly in the Meadow was a female Common Blue (only the males of this species are blue), but Conehead 54 has identified it as a Brown Argus.

A Peacock butterfly perched on a grass stem near the Speke obelisk.

A Common Carder bee climbed up a Tufted Vetch flower behind the Lido.


  1. The Robin looks so scared, poor thing. It's amazing what birds get used to, though, when there are no natural predators: the passing helicopter and all its racket will merit but a cursory upward glance.

    Grebes are so civilised, I always say.

    1. That Kestrel has attacked model aircraft, but is sensible enough to avoid the slashing rotors of drones.

      Occasionally people learn from grebes. This is how the Indians and Pakistanis avoid fighting yet another border war.

  2. Some lovely bird of prey shots.

    Are you sure the female Common Blue isn't a Brown Argus?

    1. No, I'm not sure. Tom was thinking the same thing, but eventually decided Common Blue.