Thursday, 3 September 2015

House Martins are still flying over the Serpentine and Round Pond. They will be leaving soon to spend the winter in Africa.

The winter migrant thrushes are settling in. The rowan trees on Buck Hill were constantly visited by Mistle Thrushes flying in to eat a few berries, then back over the road to the trees where they congregate. They don't spend much time in the rowans, although these offer good cover.

A flock of Starlings was raiding the tables at the Lido restaurant. They gather on the roof until there is an opportunity, then zoom down, grab a morsel, and return to the roof to eat it undisturbed.

One of the young Grey Wagtails was working its way up the shore beside the restaurant terrace.

The male Little Owl was on the outside of  his nest tree, and didn't shift during four hours when I was constantly passing him. Occasionally he passed the time with a bit of preening.

He was waiting for the people to go away so that he could hunt insects and worms on the ground.

The parents of the youngest Great Crested Grebe chicks were swapping their roles of carrying the chicks and going fishing to feed them. Here the chicks are being dumped in the water so that they can climb on to the other parent.

An adult from the other family on the Long Water had caught quite a large fish, too big for the chicks, and was about to swallow it when a Cormorant surfaced in front of it and might have grabbed the fish. The grebe hastily skittered away, still holding its catch.

The two Mute Swan cygnets on the Serpentine are developing their wings, and a few flight feathers are beginning to appear. Swans start flying very late, which is just as well because even adults are clumsy and unmanoeuvrable in the air, and if young swans started flying early they would crash and injure themselves.

There was a Giant Puffball in a shrubbery near the bridge. These are edible, with a mild but pleasant flavour. This one was still only fist-sized.  They should be picked before they reach the size of a baby's head.


  1. Hi,
    Great blog as usual, full of interesting pictures and facts.
    However, I am somewhat concerned about you implication that one can pick fungi for consumption - whilst this may be generally true as far as I am aware Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park have similar rules in place to that of Richmond and one those rules is actually the prohibition of picking and removing any item from the park including Fungi and Flowers - I believe last year several people were actually taken to court for stealing fungi from Richmond Park. Maybe KG and HP come under different rules and don't prohibit the picking of fungi but if they do then I think your comments about the puffballs being edible could be misleading.

    1. Whatever the rules, people arrive in the park during the mushroom season and pick them. It is the same with chestnuts. I am perfectly happy that they should do so, and have no intention of enforcing restrictive regulations on them. Also, mushrooms are simply the fruiting bodies of a large subterranean organism, which is in no way damaged by picking them.