Sunday, 2 August 2015

The small fish in the lake were taking severe punishment. The Great Crested Grebes at the Serpentine island were hauling them up at a great rate to feed their three chicks.

A Cormorant under the marble fountain of the Italian Garden was catching one at almost every dive.

And a Grey Heron nearby was also doing well, though this one came up with some weed, which herons don't like and was carefully detached before the fish was swallowed.

The Reed Warblers near the bridge were staying more inside the reed bed, perhaps because it was a hot day, but this one ventured out of the shadows for a moment.

In the yew tree above it, two Goldcrests were leaping briskly about. This one is a juvenile, still without a black eye patch or the black and yellow strip on top of its head.

Honeybees were busy in the thistles underneath.

And on the other side of the path, a hoverfly was doing its best to look like a wasp, making it less likely to be eaten by one of the Reed Warblers.

If I am right (which I am often not), this is a female Syrphus ribesii, which doesn't have an English name. The female is distinguished from the very similar Lesser Banded Hoverfly, S. vitripennis, by having a yellow femur on her hind leg.

Above the heads of the visitors feeding the Ring-Necked Parakeets at the leaf yard, a Stock Dove perched in an old chestnut tree. They are smaller than Feral Pigeons and always plain grey, and they have dark eyes.

The adult male Little Owl ...

... and one of his owlets were flying from tree to tree.

Both these pictures show them in last year's nest tree.


  1. Love the reed warbler/blackcap cross! ;-) Jim n.L.

    1. It had only put on the black cap to pass sentence on some insects.

  2. Yesterday I found an interesting mushroom in Kensington Gardens, the relatively rare Silky Rosegill (Volvariella bombycina). As the Latin name implies, it "hatches" from an egg like structure. You can see four or five eggs at different stages of hatching in the rotten trunk of a horse chestnut tree east of the Italian fountains (the eggs are the size of a swan egg). If you want to take a photo, here are the directions:
    Start on the path between Marlborough Gate and Westbourne Gate, with your back to Lancaster gate Station . You will have the Italian fountains on your right, and the children playing area on your left. In between there is a spiral shaped mound, few meters across, for children to play. Around this mound there is a semicircle of horse chestnut trees. The mushrooms are on the east horse chestnut, the one nearer the children playground, not far from a rowan full of red berries. (I think that if you want to take a photo you will have to do it soon, as the children are bound to find it and spoil it)

    1. Many thanks. Hope I get to it tomorrow before it's destroyed.