Tuesday 31 May 2022

Rainy day

It was a day of heavy showers, including a thunderstorm, and occasional sunny intervals. A soggy female Great Tit ...

... had several young sheltering in a tree behind the Albert Memorial ...

... and took pine nuts to feed them with.

Blackbirds are glad when it rains, as it brings up worms. This one was in the Flower Walk.

A Wren struck a grand pose at the foot of Buck Hill ...

... where a young Blackcap could be seen in the leaves ...

... and a Robin scolded a Magpie.

I give the Magpies peanuts to draw them away from trying to eat the young songbirds, though it probably makes no difference. One waited on a swan-headed urn in the Italian Garden. (This is one of the replacement urns carved a few years ago to replace badly eroded ones when the garden was being renovated. The quality of the carving is excellent.)

A Jackdaw was also expecting a peanut.

A female Grey Wagtail and a young one hunted around the outflow of the Serpentine. The young one is already independent and feeding itself.

Mark Williams sent a fine picture of a juvenile Dunnock in St James's Park. I've never yet managed to get a picture of a young one.

Two pairs of Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine were doing territorial displays at each other. One grebe emphasised the point by coming up with a bit of weed and waving it at his mate as if performing the full dance, although they hadn't gone through any of the preliminary display.

The Coots in the nest by the bridge ignored the rain and got on with feeding the chicks.

The Mute Swans from the gravel bank in the Long Water brought their cygnets over in the hope of being fed, but the rain had kept away the usual visitors who stuff them with unhealthy bread.

As soon as a shower stopped, the Buff-Tailed Bumblebees in the Rose Garden emerged from wherever they had been sheltering and crowded on to the Stachys flowers.

An Early Bumblebee preferred a patch of Heuchera.


  1. The female Tit does look soggy, but her plumage looks not so tatty depite bringing up so many offspring.

    If at least one songbird chick is spared thanks to your peanuts, that'd be enough. Who saves one life saves the world entire.

    1. I think that even small birds are fairly waterproof. The outer layer of feathers gets wet but the inner downy layer remains dry.

  2. It is now a year since the policy of no feeding of wildlife in the parks was started. Here is how the Guardian reported it
    Now, I am delighted that there are so many new chicks in the park but is it true that there is overcrowding leading inter alia to the fighting we have witnessed? In which case maybe the diktat against all feeding is justified?

    1. No one is taking any notice, and the police are making no effort to enforce the ban, or indeed any of the park regulations. Today I saw someone chucking a whole sliced loaf at the geese, and someone else emptying a bag of wheat on to the path beside the lake. The parakeet feeders have moved to the east side of the Long Water and continue unchecked. The only consequence of the ban is a purely harmful one: the serious people who put up proper squirrel- and parakeet-proof feeders with heathy seeds in them, very helpful for sustaining small birds over the hungry winter, are having these taken away when the gardeners find them.