Thursday, 28 October 2021

A Pied Wagtail ran up the edge of the Serpentine looking for insects. If you stand still they will come very close.

A Blackbird looked for worms in dead leaves at the edge of the Dell.

The yew tree at the lower corner of  the Dell is a regrowth from the roots of an old one. A Wood Pigeon perched on the stump.

The Coal Tit in the Flower Walk came down for a pine nut.

The Peregrine perching on the crane in Knightsbridge wasn't bothered by the crane being in use and swinging around.

The Rose Garden was full of families with children, and a Carrion Crow was a bit cautious about coming down the fountain for a drink.

Starlings and a Black-Headed Gull waited on the roof of the Lido restaurant for a chance to grab some leftovers.

A young Herring Gull played with a dead leaf.

All the posts at the island were occupied, so this Cormorant had to perch on a little stump.

Cormorants often perch on the tern raft on the Long Water, but you don't generally see Egyptian Geese using it. I hope they don't try to nest there, as this has caused serious complications when Canada Geese have used it and the goslings can't get over the edge.

A Greylag Goose finished washing with a tremendous flap.

A Buff-Tailed Bumblebee on the grass in the Rose Garden seemed inert, as if it had run out of energy.

But then it suddenly woke up, flew to a lavender flower, and started feeding.

Two Common Wasps were also on the grass having a dispute about something.

Another picture by Tom of the Dartford Warbler at Rainham Marshes. It had just found a caterpillar.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Great Tits, a Blue Tit, a Coal Tit and Long-Tailed Tits darted around in the shrubbery near the bridge.

A Blue Tit was expecting a pine nut, but had to wait while I took its picture.

A Wren searched for insects in the dead tree.

There were Robins all along the Flower Walk.

The Grey Wagtail flew over several times. Here it is on a rail in the Italian Garden, one of its usual hunting stations.

A Starling shone in a sunny spell on a table at the Lido restaurant.

A Magpie also displayed its fine iridescence as it probed the bark of a tree for insects.

This is the pair of Magpies between the Henry Moore sculpture and the bridge, which have successfully raised several families in the past few years.

A Carrion Crow bathed in the Serpentine.

A Herring Gull snatched a hoverfly larva from the surface of the lake.

The Great Crested Grebe family on the Long Water were together under the fallen poplar.

Grebe supplements their diet of fish with the midges that fly low over the surface of the lake.

Fallen leaves are building up at the downwind edge of the lake. A Moorhen looked for anything edible that has blown in with them.

A pair of Egyptian Geese claimed the sawn-off poplar at Peter Pan as their territory.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Just a quick visit to the park today before going to Rainham Marshes.

A Blackbird turned over dead leaves in the wet grass near the Dell, finding a larva and a worm.

A Long-Tailed Tit perched in a hawthorn tree beside the Long Water where a pair nested last spring.

If you are kind to Carrion Crows they will exploit you mercilessly. I now have two hitting me over the head, despite my efforts to train them not to.

This Robin is everyone's pet at Rainham. It came to take mealworms from Tom's hand.

A Stonechat perched on a small tree.

I had hoped to see the Dartford Warbler, but missed it despite two visits to its territory. However, Tom got an excellent picture of it in a rose bush.

A Pheasant wandered through the grass.

Three Cattle Egrets, attracted by the herd of cattle that graze in the middle of the site. There were five in all today, and the number is likely to increase.

The cows are gradually getting used to them, and occasionally letting them perch on their back to eat parasites.

There were also plenty of Little Egrets, but I didn't see a Great Egret today.

Shore birds included Lapwings ...

... and a Curlew and some Avocets beside the estuary.

A pair of Snipe rested next to a clump of grass.

No visit to Rainham would be complete without a Little Grebe.

There were Teal ...

... and Wigeon.

A passing helicopter panicked a flock of Greylag Geese and some Canadas.

A Weasel ran along the path at the river wall. Tom got a brief video of it.

There was an empty snail shell of a peculiar blue colour. I can't match this with a native species.

Monday, 25 October 2021

An autumn tree beside the Serpentine was heavy with Feral Pigeons, like unappetising grey fruit.

At the bridge, a Blue Tit emerged from a hole in the dead tree. There are many holes in the rotten wood, and Blue Tits nested here in the spring.

The Coal Tit came down several times to be fed ...

... often rudely interrupted by a Great Tit which pushed it away.

Starlings at the Lido restaurant were delighted to find some leftover chips on a table.

The female Peregrine was on the crane, looking up at her mate who was circling too high for a photograph.

The catalpa beans on the tree in the Rose Garden ripen later than those in Kensington Gardens, and the Rose-Ringed Parakeets are busy extracting the seeds. The video shows the messy way these destructive birds do it, wasting much more than they eat.

A look at the fountain in the Rose Garden, topped by a figure of the goddess Diana shooting with her bow. Since there is now a sort of fountain, or at least a water feature, for Princess Diana at the other end of Hyde Park, this is now known as the Huntress Fountain. It has been here since 1906 and was made by Countess Feodora Gleichen, the first woman member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. Its Art Nouveau style is unusual in Britain. As I was leaving the flow of water was much increased by a heavy shower.

A Cormorant was asleep on a post at the island.

A pair of Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine bobbed their heads in courtship before mating. Like humans, they have no fixed mating season.

The blond Egyptian male was in the same place as before, with his unfaithful mate paired with the aggressive male who has ousted him for the second time. He looked very downcast.

The female Wigeon was working her way round the east end of the lake hoping to be fed as if she had been a park bird all her life.

An interesting picture sent in my someone who prefers to remain anonymous. A female Mandarin was eating an acorn. They must have a ferociously tough gizzard to rasp off the hard shell, and an equally tough digestion to detoxify the tannins in the acorn.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes, and sent a fine picture of a female Kestrel ...

... and another Dartford Warbler -- there seem to be quite a few of these in London now.

I'm going to Rainham tomorrow and hope to see it.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Carrion Crows have become adept adept at stealing the apples people put out for the Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

A Blue Tit ...

... and a Great Tit came out to be fed near the bridge.

A Starling shone in the sunlight as it drank at the edge of the Serpentine.

A pair of Feral Pigeons canoodled on the landing stage.

A Wood Pigeon bathed in the pool at the top of the Dell waterfall.

A Cormorant had a wash on the Long Water.

A Herring Gull tried to stand on one of the plastic buoys at the Lido, and as usual the buoy revolved and tipped it off.

The youngest Great Crested Grebe chicks on the Long Water pestered their parents to catch fish for them.

A Moorhen parent watched a teenager cross the small waterfall in the Dell.

The female Wigeon the the Serpentine, a completely wild bird when she arrived eleven days ago, is now as fearless as one of the familiar park Mallards.

One of the Bar-Headed x Greylag Goose hybrids from St James's Park visited the Serpentine.

A late Speckled Wood butterfly perched on a bramble beside the Long Water.

I hadn't seen any Honeybees for some time, but there was one on the plumbago in the Rose Garden.

The mystery hoverfly was there too, and at last showed its face. From Conehead 54's information, the black inverted Y-shaped mark on its forehead indicates that it's Eupeodes luniger. It's female; males have bigger eyes that come closer together.

Another unknown species: this solitary mushroom on Buck Hill is about 2 inches across.

I think this beautiful yellow tree between the Rose Garden and the Dell is a Black Walnut.