Sunday, 3 July 2022

Hungry young Jay

A young Jay in the bushes by the Triangle car park begged its parent to feed it.

This young Robin in the Rose Garden is already looking for its own food. Its juvenile plumage makes it look almost like a gilt bronze statuette.

Two young Blue Tits beside the Long Water were still begging ...

... but a young Long-Tailed Tit was independent and hunting with the flock.

The Blackbirds in the Dell are still feeding nestlings. This is probably a second brood after they lost the first one.

It was Virginia's turn to be shouted at by the militant male Little Owl near the Round Pond. Here is her fine picture.

I found one of the owlets peering out of the horse chestnut leaves ...

... and one from the other family dozing in the top of the sweet chestnut by the Serpentine Gallery.

The teenage Coots at the bridge, quite capable of feeding themselves, are still clustering in the nest pretending to be chicks, and their indulgent parents are still feeding them. They must be kicked out soon to fend for themselves.

The Moorhens in the Dell have built up their nest. It won't be a vast structure like a Coot nest, as Moorhens build only what they need.

A Burnet Moth drank nectar from a ragwort flower beside the Long Water.

Another flower had a Small Skipper butterfly on it.

An Emperor dragonfly hunted around the reed bed by the Italian Garden ...

... and perched for a moment on a stem.

Black-Tailed Skimmers mated on a tree beside the Serpentine.

In the Rose Garden a Honeybee and its hoverfly mimic, a Common Dronefly, fed on a coreopsis flower. Hoverflies are useful pollinating insects.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee approached a rose.

Saturday, 2 July 2022

Young Grey Herons getting bigger

The two young Grey Herons in the nest at the west end of the island are growing daily, and are now easier to see.

Starlings waited on the tables at the Lido restaurant for a chance to grab a scrap.

Long-Tailed Tits flew down the edge of the Long Water in their endless quest for insects. This is one of the young ones, now independent but the family sticks together.

On the other side of the path a Carrion Crow posed on a felled tree trunk.

A picture by Mark Williams shows two behaving oddly. Not sure what was going on.

The female Little Owl near the Round Pond looked down from a branch.

A good picture by Nick Abalov of the male on the dead tree where their nest hole is.

One of the three owlets was in a nearby tree.

No sight of an owl at the Serpentine Gallery. There are other trees they use apart from the sweet chestnut where they nested, but they weren't calling so I couldn't find them.

The Coot chicks from the nest at the bridge are now quite large.

The Moorhens' nest in the stream in the Dell is a going concern.

Greylag and Canada geese hurried down to the lake. The reason: one perfectly well behaved dog on a lead. But the moulting geese are flightless now, and have to be extra careful.

The Bar-Head x Greylag Goose hybrid was safely near the water's edge, and continued to doze peacefully.

Every year a pair of Egyptian Geese bring up their family in the fountain in the  middle of the busy Marble Arch roundabout. The gardeners and maintenance men ensure that there are always planks so that they can get out to graze.

While I was at Marble Arch I took the opportunity of photographing the smallest house in London. Its black front door is in the middle of the picture, and the house has one long room on each floor, fitting between the walls of the adjacent houses. The original 19th century front was refaced when the building to the right was constructed in the 1980s.

A Brimstone butterfly drank nectar from a bramble flower.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee and two Honeybees clustered on a Lamb's Ears flower in the Rose Garden.

Tom was at Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk, where he got a picture of a Chinese Water Deer. There is now a small feral population.

Friday, 1 July 2022

First taste of raisins

A Blackbird was out on the lawn in the Rose Garden looking for worms ...

... to feed a young one whose chirping could be heard under a bush on the other side of the railings.

But it was also digging for its own food when he wasn't looking. I gave it some raisins to see what would happen, and it took to them at once and ate the lot, although it can never have seen a raisin before, The smell of sweet fruit is irresistible.

A family of Long-Tailed Tits moved along the edge of the Long Water. This is one of the young ones.

A Jay came out on a twig and waited to be given a peanut.

A Carrion Crow perched on the Egyptian vulture headdress of Miss Africa on the Albert Memorial. Each of the four statue groups representing the continents has a central female figure representing the spirit of the continent itself.

A Wood Pigeon picked out clover leaves from the grass.

The Little Owls near the Round Pond were climbing around in one of their usual horse chestnut trees. Here is one of the owlets.

Its mother was preening on a branch. She isn't bothered by people photographing her or her family ...

... but with the father it's a different story. When I went back to the tree in the afternoon he was watching me angrily from the next tree, and flew down over my head shrieking curses. I hate bothering him, but really he is a bit too excitable.

The female Little Owl at the Serpentine Gallery was just visible in the leaves but it was impossible to get a good picture, so here is a fine shot taken earlier by Virginia.

A Coot searched for food under one of the waterspouts on the edge of the Italian Garden while its mate looked on from their nest. There were two eggs in it today, with more surely on the way.

The Coots nesting in the middle of the Serpentine near the outflow have built up their nest to quite a large size. Maybe the extra weight will make it more resistant to the waves the next time there's a strong west wind.

There was just one Mallard duckling on the Serpentine.

Two Burnet Moths perched on a grass stem beside the Long Water.

A Brimstone butterfly was drinking nectar from a buddleia blossom behind the Lido.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee worked over a patch of Caucasian Stonecrop in the Rose Garden.

Mark Williams got a good picture of a perched Emperor dragonfly.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Three owlets in a tree

The Little Owls near the Round Pond were active today. The three owlets were all in the same horse chestnut tree ... 

... with their mother.

Usually she goes to another tree to avoid being pestered by them.

The female at the Serpentine Gallery was hard to see among the sweet chestnut leaves, and I couldn't find any of the owlets. They are much more mobile now and may have been in a different tree, perhaps with their still undiscovered father.

In a nearby tree a Robin was scolding a Magpie rather indistinctly, because it had an insect in its beak. It couldn't go to its nest while the predator was watching. I bribed the Magpie to leave by throwing a peanut some distance away.

The young Carrion Crow here has not yet learnt how to shell a peanut, and was demanding that a parent should do it.

It did get its peanut.

A crow near the Dell restaurant played with a feather.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull hadn't had his lunch, and was stalking around looking for a chance to grab it.

The Coots nesting on the old water filter under the Italian Garden lost their chicks and have just started nesting again. So far there is one egg.

The Moorhens in the Dell are nesting on a rock below the small waterfall.

I was taking a picture of the crowd of Canada and Greylag Geese by the gravel bank on the Long Water, just to show how many there were, and look what cropped up in the background next to the Grey Heron.

The geese didn't seem worried. The Egyptian was actually on the gravel only a few feet away from it.

I can't explain the heavy losses of Mute cygnets on both the Long Water and the Serpentine. Everywhere else the swans seem to be doing fine. Here is a picture by Julia Schmitt of seven cygnets at St Katharine's Dock.

Six-Spot Burnet Moths and a Meadow Brown butterfly fed on ragwort beside the Long Water.

Neil got an interesting picture of a cocoon which presumably is going to produce a Burnet Moth.

A Honeybee browsed on a clump of Verbena bonariensis in the Rose Garden.