Friday, 3 June 2022

House Martins at the embassy

House Martins were flying in and out of a nest in the cornice of the Kuwaiti Embassy in Knightsbridge. I saw two other holes in use.

A family of Long-Tailed Tits bounced around in a variegated holly near the Mound Gate.

A Wood Pigeon browsed on a patch of Bird's Foot Trefoil that had come up near the Queen's Temple.

The young Grey Wagtail at the Serpentine outflow was fluffed up and having a preen.

The Tawny Owl came out to be admired.

I hadn't seen the pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull for several weeks, and it seems that he has abandoned his old hunting ground at the Dell restaurant. Today he was on the Long Water near the bridge with a new victim.

The Coot nest built in the middle of the Serpentine has been washed away twice now, but the indomitable Coots have built it up yet again.

The Coots in the Italian Garden are continuing their vain attempt to make a nest on the fountain.

The other parent and the three teenagers rushed over when they saw someone holding a bag of food.

Three new Greylag goslings have appeared on the Serpentine. Their father chased off a Canada Goose which was just minding its own business.

The only other Greylag gosling was being guarded by four adults. It's unusual to see pairs of Greylags being so cooperative.

The adopted Egyptian gosling on the Long Water is now even larger in relation to the other three.

There have been no further losses among the Mute Swans. These are the four from the gravel bank.

A Common Blue butterfly rested on a leaf of purple sage in the Rose Garden, slightly ruffled by the breeze.

A very colourful male Early Bumblebee climbed up a spike of salvia near the Lido.

Duncan Campbell is constantly finding new kinds of bee that can't easily be identified. He thinks that this one may be a Blue Mason Bee, Osmia caerulescens, under attack from another ... 

... and that this may be a Patchwork Leafcutter Bee, Megachile centuncularis.

He also found a small mosquito-like fly with a very long proboscis. There are innumerable flies that look much like this. Update: Jim comments 'The fly appears to be an Empid, also known as dagger fly.'


  1. My word that young Grey wagtail is cute :) Mark p s talking of cute, spotted no less than three baby wrens foraging at Lincoln's Inn Fields last Thursday evening photos are so-so will have another bash on Tuesday. Mark

    1. Hope you get a picture of the young Wrens.

  2. The fly appears to be an Empid, also known as dagger fly. Jim

  3. Interesting to see the various bees. A very bright Early Bumblebee indeed.

    Good to see the Lesser Black-back is still around.

    1. The picture of the Early Bumblebee is just as it came from the camera on a day of light cloud, so he was really bright.

      I was pleased to see that horrible old gull again. He is part of the park.

  4. Great news about the house martins. Spent a lot of time yesterday looking into a thrilling sighting of a "bank swallow" - American for "house martin". I'd love to see that gull in action...well, maybe the end of the action...

    1. A 'bank swallow' is a Sand Martin, not a House Martin -- they nest in sandbanks. If a House Martin can nest in an embassy it can nest in a bank, but the other kind.

  5. I am sorry for the pigeon population, but it's good to have Pigeon Killer back. He is such a charismatic star, even if an evil one.

    Once again, hats off to insect people and their ability to ID anything. Dear God.