Tuesday 18 July 2023

Wren gets a catch

A Wren emerged from the brambles at the leaf yard with a hoverfly in its beak.

Wood Pigeons were all over the patches of long grass stripping the seed heads. This year's young birds don't yet have a white collar.

Mark Williams photographed a Jay yawning while it waited for him to stop photographing and feed it.

A pair of Magpies waited on a holly branch beside the Long Water, from which they can swoop down and take a peanut from the railings.

A pair of Jackdaws were also waiting on the wooden fence by the leaf yard. It's quite difficult getting peanuts to them without these being grabbed by the numerous Carrion Crows, but between us we have devised strategies that work, and I got both of them fed.

The male Little Owl at the Serpentine stretched his wings.

One owlet was showing at the Round Pond on the family's favourite horse chestnut branch.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull's mate was enjoying her share of his latest victim.

A Grey Heron on the Long Water island preened an enormous wing.

The Great Crested Grebe on the nest opposite Peter Pan was standing up, and you can just see one egg. There's no sign of hatching yet.

On the near side of the water a pair of Coots were feeding two new chicks.

Young Moorhens mingled with Egyptian goslings by the Serpentine island.

The Egyptians on the Long Water still have four of their original five. That is quite good going for this pair, who are not the best of parents and have often lost whole broods in a few days.

The Black Swan was preening at the outflow of the Serpentine. His white flight feathers are now fully regrown and he should be trying them out soon, just to make sure they work and not because he is going anywhere.

The lavender in the Rose Garden was full of Buff-Tailed Bumblebees.

A Buff-Tail peacefully shared a thistle with a Honeybee.

Mark was at Hutchinson's Bank again and got a fine picture of a Silver-Washed Fritillary. The silvery sheen that gives them their name is on the underside of the wings and doesn't show in a top view.

Poppies have come up behind a new wall by the Dell. It's remarkable how the seeds are all over the place waiting, maybe for years, until the soil is disturbed and sets them germinating.


  1. No chance of seeing the owlets for ages...

    1. They'll be grown up and kicked out by their parents before very long.

  2. Remarkable about the poppies, and deeply symbolic. Brave little flowers. BTW, I know about the funereal association of poppies in the UK ("In Flanders fields..."), but are they popularly associated with anything else? In Spain they are beloved as symbols of springtime and untamed nature.

    1. The word 'poppy' has often been used in poetry to mean some kind of opium-based narcotic, or anything inducing sleep. The flower is also said to be symbolic of rebirth, though I don't know in what context. Its way of suddenly springing up where the soil has been dug -- which of course includes graves -- would explain that.