Monday 16 May 2022

Young Blackcap

Julia found a Blackcap fledgling on Buck Hill near the bridge, and got some fine video and pictures of this shy and elusive bird.

A parent arrived with a caterpillar ...

... and fed the young one.

In the same place I found a Wren furiously scolding a Magpie that had come too close to its nest.

A few yards to the north this must be the Wren I photographed yesterday, with another spider.

On the path below a Robin was gathering insects and caterpillars for its nest on the edge of the Long Water.

The young Robin in the Rose Garden which I photographed on 24 April is now looking more grown up.

The Grey Wagtail in the Italian Garden was hunting on the pavement.

A Blackbird collected worms to take to its nest in the Dell.

A Carrion Crow bathed in the pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

Virginia photographed a Red Kite very high to the northwest of the Italian Garden. This is exactly where I saw one on 2 January being harassed by crows. Their numbers in London are slowly increasing.

Tom got this picture of a Hobby at Rainham Marshes. Paul heard a Hobby in Kensington Gardens several weeks ago, but it doesn't seem to have chosen the park for a nest site this year. We usually see them here but they often prefer to nest in one of the local garden squares.

A Moorhen at Peter Pan had a confrontation with a Coot. Although the Coot was near its own nest the Moorhen surprisingly won won the faceoff and the Coot retreated.

It's getting hard to keep track of all the broods of geese, but there were three new Greylag goslings beside the Serpentine ...

... and another three beside the Vista.

Three Mandarins turned up at the Vista, two drakes and a female. There has been no sign of females for a while and presumably they have been nesting in trees. But they hardly ever succeed in keeping their ducklings alive for more than a few days, and I have only once seen two young survive and fledge.

A fox ran across the path at the leaf yard and squeezed easily through the chestnut fencing. They can slip through the railings where only dogs the size of a Jack Russell or smaller can manage.

A Common Carder Bee's ginger fluff harmonised with an orange wallflower in the Rose Garden.

Duncan Campbell sent these pictures of bees which he identified as female (left) and male Red Mason Bees, Osmia bicornis. He isn't certain about the male as there is an odd greenish tinge to its eye, but this may be just a reflection from the surroundings.


  1. Insects are bewildering. Hat off to entomologists everywhere.

    What a lovely little fellow, the Blackcap fledgling! Amazing video and picture.

    Very nice to see the small patches of red coming up on the Robin youngster. Bet it's itching to get its smart red breast.


    1. As Robins turn red they begin to get involved in fights. Being young and brown and spotted is a much easier life.

  2. Lovely to see the Blackcap family. Also the Grey Wagtail collecting food. Had 2 pairs on my BBS survey this morning which I was pleased with.

    I did see Tom on Saturday as well as 2 Hobbies at Rainham. Such a glorious place on a fine day!

    Lovely to see the Red Mason Bees.

    1. I'm certain we have two Grey Wagtail nests now, one near the Italian Garden and one by the Dell waterfall, where I saw two young birds being fed today.