My blogs are a bit like buses at the moment. Nothing for ages and then several come along together - note to self "must be more organised!!!"
Yesterday evening there was a sunset - haven't had one for quite a while. These pictures were taken from the garden looking West (West? - now there's a surprise!!)
This morning was a good day for garden birds.
A male Blackcap had a visit to the bird bath and was joined by a Nuthatch! I was delighted!! (Considers moving bird bath nearer to house!)
Other visitors today were:
Blackbirds (missing during the summer and now returned) Blue Tits, Great Tits, Dunnock, Ring-necked Parakeets and Feral Pigeons (when do they NOT visit!!) Golfinches, Greenfinches and Chaffinches. I think Autumn's started!
I'm assuming that it's the very dry spell of weather that has caused several birds to visit the pond for a drink and/or bath! This Black bird was no exception and looked balder with each dip in the water!
I'd decided to visit both Richmond and Bushy Parks to check up on the deer rut. In Richmond Park there were very few Red Deer visible although I did hear one "roar" on one occasion.- so generally very quiet. I drove around near the Rugby pitches as this is the area I photographed them last October; it seems to be quite a major rut "stand".
In October last year, I took pictures of the males clashing and herding the females in earnest. I have pictures dated 6 and 8 October when there was considerable activity. But I note that on the 17 October that, whilst the stags were still with their hareem, most activity had died down.
There was activity on Pen Ponds with several Canada Geese flying about. Regretably most of their activity was avoiding dogs dashing into the water; this, despite the notices requesting dog owners to keep dogs on leads in this area, so not to disturb the wildlife.
A lone female Pochard was out on the pond also..
A Small Copper presented itself but mostly all else was heard not seen. I did observe the usual undulating flight of a Green Woodpecker as it flew amongst the trees though.
After a cheese and tomato roll from the kiosk in Richmond Park I continued my search for a rut update in Bushy Park.
On the pond, a Moorhen posed enjoying the afternoon sun.
and a Grey Heron, scratched an itch high up in a tree.
By now I'd heard three separate "roars" from stags and followed one of them. They were in the same place as last year and this stag already had his females gathered around him. Mostly the other stags that were "roaring" were doing so lying down and not really taking matters that seriously yet!
A jackdaw chose a comfy perch on one of the hinds
whilst the Stag was kicking up dust before lying down.
Later on, with much roaring he wandered off to..
a stream nearby. Here he had a roll in the mud then proceeded to drink,
before thrashing his antlers in the grass at the edge of the stream
With suitable head-gear..
he had a final drink
before clambering out of the water and walking back to his females.
I suspect that sometime in the next 10 days or so, activity will increase. I shall be back to both Richmond and Bushy in a few days to check on progress and activity.
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Summer Brood)
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