Sunday 14 April 2024

Blackcaps everywhere

A Blackcap sang beside the Long Water. I was using a highly directional microphone to filter out the sound of the Sunday crowd on the path but couldn't remove the voice of one man right next to me talking about what a good singer some human was, yet ignoring this wonderful performance.

There are six singing male Blackcaps around the Long Water, and plenty of others elsewhere. It's a bumper year for them.

Tinúviel was out for an evening walk with her husband in the streets of Cáceres in western Spain when they heard a Nightingale singing in a tree. It was out of sight but the song is lovely.

The Long-Tailed Tits were zooming around in the trees by the bridge.

A Starling enjoyed an apple someone had put out for the parakeets.

One of the Robins at Mount Gate demanded pine nuts.

A Carrion Crow on a stump plotted some dastardly act.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes where he got a picture of a Wood Warbler, a bird I've never seen.

Six Coot chicks in the Italian Garden fountain kept their parents hard at work hauling up bits of algae for them.

The Egyptian Geese with the eldest gosling, missing from the Lido for two days, have turned up again. The young one is now growing fast.

Two Egyptians on the posts at the bridge found themselves in the middle of a flurry of Herring Gulls.

It looks as if the usual pair of Canada Geese have started nesting on the raft on the Long Water. The goslings always have to be caught and extracted, since the plastic fence prevents them from leaving.

There's another Mute Swan nest site, this time by the landing stage by the Diana fountain. Both this ...

... and the one at the Lido restaurant were occupied by male swans holding on to the place for when their mates start to lay eggs, so neither is a definite nest yet.

I was told that the Mallard and her five ducklings were here too, but they were out of sight in the reeds.

The Mandarin drake was by the Lido restaurant again. He had a stretch.

Green alkanet is the bee food plant of choice at the moment. Here are a Common Carder bee ...

... a Honeybee ...

... and a Hairy-Footed Flower Bee browsing on the flowers.

A sun halo could be seen over the Serpentine in the afternoon. These rings, always at 22° to the sun, are caused by refraction through ice crystals in high-altitude clouds.


  1. An eclipse, a sun halo, signs and wonders, and wars, and rumours of wars ...
    More cheerfully, I love how the Blackcap seems to stop to listen to what the annoying human is saying. I have always thought that they are very attuned to human voice and speech, much more so than other song birds. I don't know there, but over here, one can call them by imitating them (not very well at that) and they come bounding down to investigate.

    I've never seen a Wood Warbler either. Lucky Tom! And lucky we, that we get to see his pictures through you.

    1. Yes, it's getting hard to ignore celestial portents. But they happen constantly and worrying about them is a sign of human fear, though well justified in a time of human evil.

      I've never tried calling Blackcaps. Worth an experiment, though I don't like to distract birds in their nesting season.

    2. Do try, if you can. Just today one of them gave us quite a show when Emilio called to it.

  2. I saw a Buzzard flying behind the barracks tower yesterday afternoon but unfortunately, no Peregrines.

    1. The Peregrines have been away for days. Hoping they've found a place to nest.

  3. Spotted a house martin over the Long Water today.

    1. Hooray. Hope there's a good showing on the Kuwait embassy soon.