Wednesday 6 October 2021

A Robin stood guard in the gateway of the Rose Garden.

The teenage Blackbird was back on the wood chippings under the huge Caucasian Elm. I'm trying to make friends with it by giving it raisins, but it takes some time for a Blackbird to realise that you're throwing things to it rather than at it. Once they get the idea they become fearless and fly out whenever they see you.

A female Chaffinch foraged under the bushes near the bridge.

Grey Herons like having a high vantage point, but it seems odd that this one on the Long Water has chosen an uncomfortable perch when it could stand lower and be able to fish from there.

There aren't usually any Coots in the Dell, but today a pair turned up and evicted the resident Moorhens from the rock where they like to rest.

The female Mandarin was following its Egyptian friend on the grass beside the Serpentine.

Another Egyptian had a vigorous wash ...

... and a Greylag Goose finished its bath with a flap.

Of the three dark Mallard brothers on the Serpentine, only one has a mate. The other two always go around together.

A Red Admiral butterfly drank nectar from a clump of plumbago in the Rose Garden.

Above it, a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee visited the flowers of an arbutus.

A Honeybee had a narrow escape when it touched the sticky web of a Garden Spider, but it was able to shake itself free.

The spider was higher up the web eating a fly.

On a sunny afternoon the flowering ivy at the back of the Lido was crowded with insects -- mostly Common Wasps, but there were two Tapered Drone Flies and a Greenbottle.

There was also a Harlequin Ladybird.


  1. Were there more House Martins today? That was weird, seeing 20 of them yesterday.

    Whew, that was a close call for the Honeybee. Would you have helped it to escape? I know I am horrid and should not tamper with nature, but I just couldn't stand by and let one be eaten by a spider.

    Hoping the Blackbird will become less shy and skittish soon. He'll soon know that he has a good friend waiting for him.

    1. I didn't see any more House Martins here, but some were reported from Richmond Park, and there were still some on the Scottish border on Saturday. It looks as if the last stragglers are moving south.

      Yes, I was about to help the Honeybee when it got away by itself. I like spiders but wouldn't want them to eat my friends.

  2. The ivy is such a magnet for insects at the moment. When I was in Richmond Park yesterday I counted 5 Red Admirals, 2 Commas & a Small Copper on one stretch.

    Referring back to your House Martins, there was a small trickle of them & Swallows yesterday. We were also lucky to have a Wheatear land on a wooden bench a few feet from us by the upper pond.

    1. Tom said that the Wheatears that visit Rainham are always shy and skittish when they arrive, but soon calm down and become more approachable. Certainly this has been borne out by my limited experience there. When I last visited in late September I was able to get within 40 feet of one before it was alarmed and flew away. On a previous visit several years ago I have got closer, and was able to stand still while one approached.