Monday, 31 August 2015

On a wet Bank Holiday Monday the park was almost deserted, but numerous Robins were happy enough on the dripping branches.

There were a few hardy people sitting out under the eaves of the Dell restaurant, and they had attracted the usual hungry Grey Heron, which was looming a bit too close for their comfort.

A young Grey Wagtail was hunting insects on one of the rafts at the east end of the Serpentine.

And a young Pied Wagtail was doing the same on the edge of the lake.

It is, of course, much greyer than a Grey Wagtail, whose most noticeable colour is yellow. But there is also a Yellow Wagtail, which is even yellower with a blond back, so it is all rather confusing.

Young Herring Gulls were lined up along the roof of one of the small boathouses.

When you see a Great Crested Grebe looking like an unmade bed, it is because it is carrying chicks on its back. This is the family from the fallen poplar tree in the Long Water.

Most of this year's young Carrion Crows are now almost grown up and independent, but a family near the Triangle car park has appeared late and the young ones are still raucously demanding to be fed.

The rain slackened off in the afternoon and the male Little Owl came out on the maple tree near the leaf yard.

The rain had brought up several fine crops of mushrooms. These are Lawyer's Wigs, Coprinus comatus, also called Shaggy Cap and Ink Cap. There was a stand of them on the east side of the West Carriage Drive opposite the allotment.

They are edible, but if you drink alcohol with them it will make you as sick as a dog.  They contain a substance similar to the drug Antabuse which is given to alcoholics as an aversion therapy.