Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Pied Wagtails had returned to the Parade Ground, from which they had been frightened away by the concert, and there were at least a dozen running around in the brown flattened grass where the sheds had been. This surface suits them well, as there are fewer grass blades to impede them as they sprint after insects.

One of the running birds turned out to be a Wheatear, probably not the same as the one seen here a few weeks ago, but another migrant on its way south.

I think this is a first-year bird. Adult females have less detail in the pattern on the wrist joint of their wings.

One of the local Peregrines was on its usual daytime perch on the tower of the Metropole Hilton Hotel. It was nearly 300 ft up, and you would have needed a lens the size of a town drain to get a sharp picture of it.

In a tree near the Henry Moore sculpture, a Blue Tit had caught a moth. It found this twig too thin, and carried its prey to a thicker one where it could peck at it more comfortably.

One of the Great Crested Grebe chicks on the Long Water was having a vigorous wash.

The female Little Owl was in the same tree as she has been in the past few days, the chestnut next to the nest tree. She had moved to a new perch but I got a picture of her from the west side of the tree.

And, thanks to more detailed instructions from Mario (see yesterday's comments), I found the Chicken of the Woods, a large and beautiful fungus.

As for yesterday's mystery fungus, both Mario and Kish Woolmore reckon that it's a Beefsteak Fungus, Fistulina hepatica. Geoff at Wild Mushrooms Online thinks it's a Shaggy Bracket, Inonotus hispidus, and also says that its shape is distorted by the recent dry weather so that you can only see a very little of the upper surface -- which would apply to both identifications.


  1. Could you tell me where the bracket fungus is located in the park, and on what kind of tree? I would like to have a look.

    1. Start at Lancaster Gate -- the actual park gate. Walk west parallel to the Bayswater Road, keeping 20 yards south of the lime avenue. It's about 100 yards along, on the south side of a tree, roughly at head height.

    2. There's a discussion about this going on at Wild Mushrooms Online.