Monday 28 August 2023

Young Robin learning to sing

The Robins are beginning to return to normal after their summer break. The one near the Henry Moore sculpture, which I have often photographed, sang a couple of phrases in the bushes and then came out on to a branch.

A young Robin in the Flower Walk, still with some juvenile plumage, is just starting to learn how to sing.

The male Little Owl at the Serpentine Gallery could be seen in the usual lime tree.

But I'm wondering whether we shall see the owls at the Round Pond again this year. The male, who is much more visible than the female, has been moving around and I haven't seen him for three days.

A Wood Pigeon flapped and crashed around looking for fruit in a patch of self-seeded dogwood shoots near Peter Pan, which were much too thin to bear its weight.

The two young Reed Warblers at the Italian Garden were dashing about in the reeds non-stop, making it impossible to get a halfway decent picture.

A Jackdaw appeared in a tree between the Dell and the Rose Garden, not a place I've seen one before. It knew me and asked politely for a peanut.

The Great Crested Grebes and their two chicks were in the Lido swimming area, not at all worried by the humans thrashing around within feet of them. The No Diving notice badly needs repainting but they'd ignore it anyway.

The family at the bridge were out with two of the chicks ...

... while the third dozed beside the nest under the willow.

The four chicks farther up the Long Water were with their father, waiting for their mother to return with a fish.

The invading Mute Swans have settled down to a routine of begging at the Vista.

The two newly arrived swans in the Italian Garden also seem to have settled in.

Two of the five youngest Egyptian Geese rested by the boathouses. They are already flying, and you can see the fine iridescent green secondary feathers of the nearer one. Coloured secondaries are characteristic of ducks, but both sexes have the same colouring which is characteristic of geese. They are halfway birds, not belonging in either camp.

Fox cubs and a parent wandered around in the Dell. They're safe behind the railings, which they can squeeze through if they want to leave but are too closely spaced for any but the smallest dogs.

A Red Admiral butterfly drank nectar from a clump of Verbena bonariensis in the Dell.

There are six beehives in the garden of the Ranger's Lodge, briskly at work on a sunny day. I wonder what they do with the honey. There are also beehives in Regent's Park, and there the honey is on sale.

Caroline Reay was at Foulness, where she got a beautiful picture of some Golden Plovers.


  1. Great news about the young GCG's. There are three more at St James's park to boot. Had our first thrush of the year out today, but it didn't hang around for a photo op, sadly. We also had our second spotted flycatcher in nine years show itself yesterday, but it was gone in a few seconds ­čś×

    1. It seems a bit early for arriving migrant thrushes. Here we have several permanently resident, and breeding, Song and Mistle Thrushes, though more of both will turn up when autumn gets seriously under way.

      In the eleven years I've been doing this blog we've only had two visits from Spotted Flycatchers, and one reported Pied.

  2. The young Robin learning to sing is about the sweetest thing today. What handsome birds, those Golden Plovers, by the way. Probably all the way from Siberia.
    Is the male Little Owl getting ready for wintering? So soon?

    1. Male Little Owls are more inclined to wander about than females. Now that the owlets have gone off and he no longer has to guard them, he may be anywhere in the vicinity.

  3. Lovely video of the Red Admiral on the Verbena. It's certainly been a bumper year for them.

    Certainly a surprise, but a welcome one, to see the Golden Plovers in the blog.

    1. It's been a boom year here for several species, not just Red Admirals but Common Carder Bees, Batman Hoverflies, and recently Migrant Hawkers -- I was in a mob of these near the Serpentine Gallery a couple of days ago.

    2. Yes certainly seen plenty of those. Migrant Hawkers are less territorial than the other large hawkers.

    3. There are some Brown Hawkers here too, but so far I haven't managed to see one perched so that I can get a picture.