Sunday 14 August 2022

Starlings' bathing party

We've had videos of Starlings bathing more than once here, but their energy is irresistible. These were at the Dell restaurant, waiting to raid a table.

A Robin in the Flower Walk came to my hand several times for pine nuts.

A Jay on the path between the Serpentine Gallery and the Albert Memorial waits to waylay anyone who looks as if they might feed it.

The bird bath in the Flower Walk is of great benefit not just to Feral Pigeons to all birds, which would otherwise have to fly to the Round Pond to get a drink.

The female Peregrine on the tower was mildly interested in events on the ground 300 feet below.

A Little Owlet near the Round Pond looked down with a quizzical expression.

Its mother was in the top of the next tree.

Ahmet Amerikali got a good picture of a Cormorant catching a perch near the Italian Garden.

One of the young Grey Herons hatched in the spring is usually on the Long Water, today on the gravel at the pond dipping platform.

One from the more recent brood was on the edge of the Serpentine by the island. As it grows up it's getting more and more like the older one, and soon it will be hard to tell them apart.

Now that the Mute Swan family from the gravel strip seem to have moved to the Serpentine, the family of the previous dominant pair have been cruising around the Long Water re-establishing their ownership of the territory.

The two youngest Egyptian goslings were on the Serpentine with their parents. One of them is noticeably bigger than the other.

One of the five teenagers strode confidently across the road.

A splendid picture by Nick Abalov of a Hummingbird Hawk-Moth, photographed by the Tower of London which you can just see in the background.

A Comma butterfly sunned itself on the path near the Triangle car park.

Common Wasps may nest in the burrows left by digging mammals, but this hole is much too small for a rabbit hole, and right out in open grassland on Buck Hill so a wood mouse seems unlikely. They may have excavated it themselves.

It's difficult to know why several wasps were settling on the duckweed in the Italian Garden ponds.

Honeybees were busy all over a patch of heliotrope in the Flower Walk.


  1. The starlings are always a delight to watch. Haven't seen any at the round pond for months so good to know there are some elsewhere.

    1. Starlings hang around the Lido and Dell restaurants when there are people eating on the outside terraces. If you haven't seen them at the Round Pond, it's because these intelligent and observant birds have realised that there are better pickings elsewhere.

    2. I alway love Starling videos. They are so smart and vivacious, and ever ready to stage very entertaining raids.

      I may have said this too often, but I can't help being delighted by the amount of different facial expressions Little Owls are capable of.


    3. I wish I could interpret Little Owls' expressions from an owl point of view rather than a human one. Clearly they convey mood, but we tend to map our own moods on to them.

  2. Agree it's always fun watching the Starling activity. I encountered a small flock on my walk yesterday, being very vocal & diving into Elder & brambles for fruit.

    I'm guessing the wasps are coming down for water. Yesterday I saw a Comma perched on pondweed in the brook that was also obtaining moisture in an arid landscape.

    As an aside Ralph do you know what the upright compact pinkish flowers are in the urns in the Italian Gardens? I've never seen them before & can't even work out which family they are. Attractive plants for sure!

    1. Thanks for the insect information. I think those flowers are Globe Amaranths, Gomphrena globosa. Also called Bachelor's Buttons but that name properly belongs to Cornflowers.

  3. Many thanks Ralph-checking with images, that's definitely the plant. I've never heard of it before & don't recall seeing it either. Always good to see something new & they did appear to attract a few pollinators.

  4. I don't mind Ralph-at least I have the ID, which is the important thing. It's not often I encounter a plant I have no idea what it is! Apparently it's edible too as amaranths usually are!

    1. I'm pig-ignorant about plants and make frequent use of this app.