Tuesday 19 June 2012

There is a pair of Reed Warblers in the Long Water reedbed next to the bridge. I saw both of them momentarily, and after that a lot of movement in one spot in the reeds, showing that they are building a nest. Usually there are one or two Reed Warblers every summer, but I have never seen any sign of nesting before in this park.

There was a young Blackcap on the east side of the Long Water chasing its mother and begging for food.

The Canada Geese, which moult a little later than the Greylags, are now also beginning to grow their new flight feathers. And the Mute Swans are beginning to moult too. Here a first-year swan with a bit of grey still showing preens itself; note its tatty wings.

These already bad-tempered birds are made more irritable still by moulting, and I saw an old male chasing a couple of moorhens that had not threatened him in any way.

Here a pair of mallards enjoy the duckweed on the Rima fountain.

And in the Dell, a pigeon (a proper birder would call it a Feral Rock Dove) explores some early mushrooms before deciding that they are not edible.

One seldom sees edible mushrooms of any kind in the park, apart from occasional stands of Giant Puffballs in the shrubbery. I think that this is not because they don't grow, but because when they do, in the autumn, knowledgeable mushroom fans come into the park at dawn and pick them before anyone else gets the chance. Mostly they are Italians and Russians, great mushroom gathering nations.

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