Thursday 4 July 2024

Playful Peregrines

Two young Peregrines enjoyed the wind sweeping up the side of the tower where they were hatched. These are the offspring of the pair we have often seen in the park on the Knightsbridge barracks, which have nested on a deserted hotel in the Cromwell Road.

You can just see from this still picture that they're young, with longitudinal stripes on the front where adults have transverse bars, and dull coloured legs and feet while adults' are yellow.

The male Little Owl at the Round Pond was out in his usual lime tree in spite of quite a stiff wind, but the owlet stayed indoors while I was there.

Ahmet Amerikali got a fine shot of a young Goldcrest in the Flower Walk.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes and got good pictures of a young Bearded Tit looking out of the reeds ...

... and the female Kingfisher preening a wing.

One of the Grey Heron chicks on the island could be clearly seen, and movement lower in the nest showed that the other one was there. It's beginning to look more like a bird and less like a  dinosaur.

In the water below the Great Crested Grebes' nest was still intact.

The three rival pairs in the middle of the lake were still circling and glaring at each other.

The chick pestered its parent, was given some small snack, and dived.

The younger one on the Long Water could be seen from a distance.

The three Canada Goose teenagers crossed the Long Water with their parents.

A Egyptian Goose was ruffled by the wind as it preened on the edge of the Serpentine.

One of the big bully swans, I think 4FYG from the island, attacked a harmless female who was minding her own business.

One of the foxes in the Dell didn't mind people staring at it, and put up with two lorries arriving, but when the driver of one slammed the door that was too much for it and it ran off.

A Comma butterfly perched on a bush on the edge of the Dell. They've been sadly scarce this year and this was only the third I'd seen.

Even Common Droneflies, which are usually abundant, have been few and far between. This one was on a knapweed flower at Peter Pan.


  1. You must have seen the Peregrines around the same time I did since they were still doing it when I passed by. I was excited to break the news, but you beat me to it! I did notice that one was paler than the adult, so I thought that the offspring had fledged. I was right! Well done on finding them.

    1. I saw three, but the third only appeared for a moment and I couldn't get them all together. Probably it was one of the parents. Absolutely sure that the two I filmed were both young from looking at stills.

  2. I would have said Peregrines that was a courtship display, but they're young, so that's ruled out. Goes on to show the instinct for play is universal across the species.

    1. Young Great Crested Grebes also perform play courtship displays -- on the water obviously, not in the air. The basis of such displays, though not the full elaboration, must be instinctive.

  3. Lovely to see another successful pair of Peregrines. Ours in Ealing fledged two young.

    I did see 2 Commas in Ruislip Woods yesterday, but generally few vanessids recently (did also see one Red Admiral). Hoverfly numbers (along with many insect species) seem very low but did see a few Volucella pellucens hovering along the rides.

    1. Our Peregrines apparently had four chicks -- someone has access to the abandoned tower -- but it seems that only two have made it into the air. I saw a third one briefly bit it didn't join in and was probably a parent.

      Never thought I'd see so few hoverflies. Numbers of Honeybees, Buff-Tailed Bumblebees and Meadow Browns seem normal bit everything else is way down.

  4. Yes, largely my experience too, though at Ruislip there were hundreds of Common Blue Damselflies in the meadows & woodland rides.

    1. I see a fair number of Common Blue damselflies in the long grass on my usual way from Queen's Gate to the Round Pond. Also a few Common Darters, none of which have stopped to have their picture taken.