Sunday 7 July 2024

Wind and thunder

The male Little Owl at the Round Pond ...

... and the owlet were out in a horse chestnut ...

... in spite of being buffeted by the stiff wind.

Choppy waves on the pond bounced the Egyptian Geese around. They had to come ashore to be able to preen.

Several Pied Wagtails, most of them young, were running around in the grass. There are usually plenty of them here. Probably they nest in holes in the old walls of Kensington Palace.

Long-Tailed Tits moved down the east side of the Long Water. A young one, now independent, paused in a hawthorn.

A pair perched side by side in a bush.

A Song Thrush in a catalpa tree near the Italian Garden sang against a background of the dreary thump and wail of a hugely over-amplified pop concert a mile away in Hyde Park. Its mate was also here, but they don't seem to have succeeded in breeding this year.

A young Carrion Crow at Temple Gate was still pestering a parent, which took no notice. It's old enough to do its own scavenging.

A Grey Heron fishing in the water lilies in the Italian Garden was fairly hoovering up small fish. These two pictures were taken 46 seconds apart.

There was a thunderstorm at lunchtime. The Great Crested Grebe at the island sat indifferently on its nest on the chain.

On the other side of the lake, a diving grebe neared the surface ...

... and emerged.

One of the Mute cygnets on the Serpentine hauled up algae, watched by its mother.

Greylag Geese on the Serpentine tried out their newly regrown flight feathers.

Yesterday Jim asked whether the geese in the park chewed plane leaves to get insects off them. I looked at some plane trees and they are pretty healthy with few damaged leaves.  Here is one leaf with small holes that have clearly been made by a larva, but it had already gone. The other side of the leaf had the same greyish brown discoloration.

A little patch of purple loosestrife in the reeds by the Diana fountain attracted a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee.


  1. Hi Ralph, what conclusions have you come RE. The chewed leaves/geese..........regards,Stephen..BTW, the grebe pics were outstanding !!..

    1. As for the leaves, my considered conclusion is Dunno.

    2. A VERY scientific and logical conclusion ,regards Stephen....

  2. Now that I think of it, might they be looking for what we call agallas? Brown spots or bumps in leaves which are usually caused by the leaf trying to encapsulate parasites.

    1. I was looking for those on several plane trees and couldn't find any. But I must look in particular at the trees where I saw the geese chewing the leaves, as the parasite may be local. The English name for these is leaf galls.

  3. Lovely photo of the bumblebee Ralph but it's definitely not on Rosebay Willowherb but is on Purple Loosestrife.

    1. Ah, didn't really expect to see the bombsite willowherb in the soggy park. Thanks, changed.