Monday 20 September 2021

A Grey Wagtail enjoyed a bathe on the edge of the waterfall in the Dell.

Two days ago a Spotted Flycatcher was seen in the same place. The person who took this fine picture has asked to remain anonymous.

A Sparrowhawk crossed the Long Water.

The female Little Owl was on view in the horse chestnut tree by the Serpentine Gallery.

It was surprising to see three House Martins over the Serpentine. I thought they were all on their way to Africa.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits went through the trees near the bridge.

A Carrion Crow found some leftovers at the Lido restaurant.

Some of the Grey Herons are sadly dirty looking on the bit at the top of the neck where they can't reach to preen. Others manage to keep it respectable, evidently by using their feet. The heron was on top of the Henry Moore sculpture, a favourite lookout point.

A neater heron polished its bill on a dead branch. But their bills do get a bit scruffy at the upper end.

The two Great Crested Grebe chicks on the Serpentine are beginning to get black crests.

A Wigeon is a fairly rare visitor to the lake. I think this one is a drake in eclipse.

A Shoveller shovelled on the Serpentine, filtering tiny edible creatures from the water with its enormous bill. This is a drake just beginning to come out of eclipse.

The male Mute Swan in the Italian Garden sprawled inelegantly on the kerb of a pool, clearly aware that he owns the place. There is a pair here now.

The old Canada x Greylag hybrid goose rested its weary legs on the edge of the Serpentine.

A female Migrant Hawker dragonfly laid eggs on a dead iris leaf in the Italian Garden.

Tom was at Rainham, where he got good pictures of a male ...

...and female Bearded Tit.


  1. I never thought I'd see a swan looking so inelegant and unkempt. Unlike the young Grebe growing its crest, which is the prettiest sight on earth.

    I'm puzzled about the House Martins. There are none left here. Perhaps they are a bit behind from the other birds and have flown in from further north?

    1. Yes, I think you're right about the House Martins. I haven't seen our resident ones for a couple of weeks.

  2. A really great mix of stuff. Good to see Spotted Flycatcher & Wigeon in the park. I only managed to see one of the former on my local patch recently. I remember, as you probably do, when they were not an uncommon breeding bird in London's parks.

    I did see one House Martin (& 2 juv Swallows) at Ruislip Lido where I was leading a walk on Saturday, so the odd tardy bird still passing through.

    Lovely shot of the ovipositing Southern Hawker.

    Tom has been blessed with good views of the Bearded Tits again. Hope to get down to Rainham this week.

    1. Yes, I remember when interesting ducks visited the park more often: Wigeon, Teal, the occasional Garganey or Pintail, and lots of Shovellers -- once there were 200 of them. I think they disappeared when the Wetland Centre opened and provided a more attractive destination only a few miles upstream.

      I'm on the train to Rainham at this moment.