Wednesday, 25 July 2012

It was time for the monthly bird count: a pretty low total. Many birds are keeping well away from the noise and disturbance as the Olympic preparations gather pace, or have simply left. I don't know whether I shall be able to get into Hyde Park at all once the games have started. About a sixth of the two parks is now covered with construction. This is the most damaging event that the parks have suffered in their entire history.

The weed-chopping machine was on the Long Water, stirring up a good deal of mud and making the water murky. The algae here have mostly died, and have been succeeded by a true plant, a species of Najas which, although not very pleasing to look at, is purifying rather than polluting the water, and should have been left to grow to keep the water in the Serpentine clear. So, as usual, human attempts to clean up the lake are making things worse.

But amid the destruction and noise, there were cheering sights. A pair of Great Crested Grebes from the other, west, end of the Serpentine island has produced two very young chicks from an unsuspected nest somewhere behind the wire plant baskets.

In Kensington Gardens near the bridge, a young Wren was calling noisily for food while its mother explored the bushes for insects.

There was another kind of dragonfly on the edge of the Long Water. I looked it up, and it is apparently a White-Tailed Skimmer, though why this mainly pale blue insect should have that name is a mystery to me.

And in the shrubbery near the Rudolf Steiner memorial bench, a fox was taking no notice of anyone.

Update: Gino confirms that the plant is Najas guadalupensis. He also points out that cutting it up and leaving bits strewn over the water surface will cause it to spread faster.

1 comment:

  1. Well watched! Thank you for some heartening stories amidst the general mess and gloom.