Ulrike, who often comments on this blog, thought that yesterday's picture of a grebe's swimming action were too academic. So here is a brief YouTube video of a grebe swimming under water. It is the only good clip I could find, and shows the Western Grebe -- Aechmophorus occidentalis, the big American species -- in California.
Back home, here is the Zebra Finch that turned up unexpectedly in the Flower Walk a few days ago. This picture was taken by one of the gardeners, Bernard Horowski, who kindly sent it to me.
The bird is a female. It hasn't been seen for several days and may no longer be with us.
The ripening blackberries have attracted a fair number of Wood Pigeons.
These birds spend a lot of time climbing along thin twigs that are not up to their considerable weight, and often seem to be completely floundering in a bush. This one spent several minutes in finding a secure foothold so that it could reach out and grab its prize.
One of the Hobbies was calling from a tree near the Queen's Temple. It didn't emerge into sight. We shall have the family until some time in September, when they migrate to sub-Saharan Africa. They travel with the Swallows and other hirundines, eating a fair number of them on the way.
A female Mandarin poses nonchalantly on one leg on a post.