Thursday, 19 July 2012
I went up to the place where the sighting of the Red-Breasted Flycatcher was reported. No result, but it is an interesting area. There are more Blackbirds here than anywhere else in Kensington Gardens, where the population has fallen severely in recent years. They are mostly at the extreme northern edge of the park by the Bayswater Road, where the park is bounded by a holly hedge that they like -- they don't seem to be disturbed by the traffic only feet awat. I think they roost and nest in the gardens of the houses in the side streets, and fly into the park by day to find worms in the grass. There was a young Blackbird among them, with speckled juvenile plumage, following its mother and calling for food.
The avenue of lime trees parallel to the edge of the park is a good place to see Long-Tailed Tits, which move along it in flocks looking for aphids.
(If you park your car under a lime tree, the aphids will cover it with their sticky secretions, which are hard to remove.)
On the Long Water, some of the Mallard ducklings have reached a fair size.
The posts are now covered with returning Black-Headed Gulls, gradually losing the chocolate brown head feathers of their breeding plumage. In winter they will have white heads with a dark spot around the ear.
Here a Green Darner dragonfly rests on the tarmac at the edge of the Serpentine. It was remarkably calm about being photographed, and this shot was taken at a distance of six inches.