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Richard Bell’s nature diary, London,  Tuesday,  12th May 2009, page 3 of 6

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red campion
bumble bee
bumble bee
wasp or hoverfly?
wasp or hoverfly

Red Campion
Silene dioica

Rhinanthus minor

Green Alkanet
Pentaglottis semprivens

Wasp-like, dark brown, but goes from flower to flower like hoverfly

1.2 cm

IN FRINGES of rough grassland around the neatly mown playing fields in Regents Park wild flowers are thriving. In my student days in London in the 1970s, I would never have expected to be able to draw Yellow-rattle in the Park. It’s growing near the Broadwalk alongside lush patches of Red Campion. Green Alkanet grows in a shadier, damper habitat in the ditch alongisde the boundary fence of the zoo.


I also noticed: cocksfoot grass, ribwort plantain, stinging nettle, knapweed (? - not if flower yet) dandelion (now gone to seed), cow parsley, cleavers, daisy, bush vetch and large white (cabbage white) butterfly.

Temp. 23°C, breeze from east

I’m trying to identify what I’d describe as a thin, lilting song from a nearby thicket of shrubs and trees. It’s not a chaffinch, that’s a more cheerful song, it’s not as wistful as a robin nor is it as jingly as a dunnock. I know that blackcaps are pretty melodious; does a whitethroat have what could be described as a ‘thin, lilting song’? I think I’ve heard its song described as ‘scratchy’.

graph of song

My attempt to show the pattern of the song.