Wednesday 12 July 2023

Silent July

Most of the songbirds have fallen silent and little is heard in the park apart from the raucous screeches of the Rose-Ringed Parakeets, which never shut up. But Chaffinch was still singing occasionally in a dead tree near the Speke monument.

A young Blackbird foraged in the Dell.

A Wren perched on the old sweet chestnut tree at the bottom of the leaf yard where a pair had their nest in a hole. I never saw any young here, but Wrens are private birds and the bushes are dense.

A Song Thrush preened on the other side of the path.

The Little owlet at the Serpentine Gallery was also preening in the top of a chestnut tree.

There was a parent on the other chestnut, but facing away and not worth photographing. However, the mother of the family at the Round Pond was out on her favourite branch ...

... and one of the owlets could be seen in the next tree.

They don't seem to be bothered by the Magpie family on the ground below, whose young ones are still frantically pestering their parents but are now mostly ignored.

A young Cormorant perched on the fallen black poplar at the Vista.

The Cormorants never went away completely, even during the thin time in early spring when there must have been few fish of suitable size. Now their numbers will increase until there is a whole mob in the autumn.

This Grey Heron at the island is thoroughly spoilt by being fed fresh herrings.

Another was finding its own fish in the water lilies in the Italian Garden.

A third was on a fallen Lombardy poplar in the Long Water, carefully ignoring some Egyptian Geese farther along the tree. (I know it's a Lombardy poplar because I saw it blow over on a stormy day several years ago.)

The two Long Water Mute cygnets cruised past with their mother.

The pair with five cygnets (originally six, but an injured one is now in care) are still hanging around the bridge. So far I have seen no sign of conflict with the Long Water pair, but the intruders never go very far up the lake.

The swan with one surviving cygnet was at the island.

The Black Swan languidly stretched an enormous foot.

The Canada Goose with the speckled head arrived to moult quite late and still hasn't regrown its flight feathers. Many of the visiting geese are now airworthy again.

A Gadwall drake was going into eclipse. There's much less change in their appearance than with the showy Mallards, Red-Crested Pochards and Mandarins.

Thousands of Meadow Brown butterflies are flitting around the long grass. One paused to drink from a bramble flower.


  1. I find Cormorants very photogenic, with their majestic eyes.

  2. It's silent summer here as well. As late as last week one could hear some hardy Goldfinches tittering half-heartedly, but as of this week only the shrill cries of Swifts chasing one another can be heard. Not even sparrows are chirping.

    1. While I don't enjoy the declining sun and the shortening days, it is a great pleasure when the Robins start singing again.