Friday 17 September 2021

One of the two newly fledged Grey Herons prowled around in the Dell and found something edible, but I'm not sure what it was. Not a fish, not a rat, could it be a very large slug?

Before this they had been in the nest making a terrible racket, while a parent -- looking very tatty -- perched in the top of the tree ignoring the racket.

Jays were also hoping to be fed, but by me. One waited in the Flower Walk ...

... and another in the long grass on Buck Hill.

Starlings circled around the Dell restaurant terrace hoping for scraps from a table. Some passed the time by raiding an ants' nest, others by bathing in the lake.

The Little Owls near the Speke obelisk are no longer easy to find by going to their nest tree. They may be anywhere from the leaf yard to the Bayswater Road, and the only way to find them is by ear. A Coal Tit ...

... and a Wren ...

... were scolding loudly in the bottom of a lime tree, but if an owl was above them it was hidden in the leaves.

The owls in the big horse chestnut at the north end of the Serpentine Gallery are easier to find. The female was calling and I soon found her having a scratch.

The female Peregrine was back on the crane. By the way, the crane is on the south side of Knightsbridge near the dark red glazed tile facade of the old Hyde Park Corner tube station entrance.

Carrion Crows and a young Herring Gull bickered over the last scraps of the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull's breakfast ...

... while the famous gull loafed around looking well fed and complacent. Manga fans on my YouTube channel say that the dots on his eye are a sharingan, and he gets a new dot for every thousand pigeons he consumes.

A Small White butterfly perched on a Verbena bonariensis in the Rose Garden.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee perched on a Salvia flower. There is a bewildering variety of Salvia in the park. I think this is S. uliginosa, which means 'marshy'.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, where he got a splendid picture of a Weasel ...

... and a Cattle Egret -- these are now becoming quite numerous there.


  1. Agree Ralph it looks as though the Heron has one of the large Arion slugs & seems as though it's trying to get rid of some of the slime.

    Though Ulex is the Gorse genus I believe uliginosa actually means marshy or full of moisture & quite a few inhabitants of such habitat have uliginosa have this name as a specific epiphet.

    1. Thanks. Poor Arion, the golden-voiced singer thrown overboard and rescued by dolphins, and all he gets to commemorate him is a big slug.

      Thanks for pointing out the correct meaning of uliginosus -- checked with Lewis and Short, text altered.

    2. To have a slug named after you is the height of indignity. Apollo ought to strike down whoever came up with that name.

      Pigeon Killer's iris does look indeed like an example of sharingan. I wonder what he uses it for.

    3. There are many doctors and medical researchers who have sad and disabling conditions named after them, and that is their only memorial. Perhaps it is better to be remembered for a disease than to be forgotten.