Thursday 1 November 2012

A day of alternate sunshine and hailstorms. The Tawny Owls, in their usual place, were being mobbed by Jays. But I brought them temporary relief because, when the Jays saw me, they came down to beg for peanuts.

The submerged baskets in the Serpentine were being adjusted by men from Aquascience.

This is part of an effort to improve the quality of the water in the lake. The idea is that the brushwood in the baskets will attract colonies of beneficial organisms of various kinds that will purify the water. However, the baskets were thought to be too large and in the wrong places, so they are being cut down into smaller ones and relocated, in this case next to the bridge. The men told me that when they hauled up the baskets they were full of young perch and Turkish crayfish.

A Grey Heron was perched on top of an old chestnut tree beside the leaf yard, looking elegant but foolish. Perhaps it was dreaming of flying fish.

And near the Lido, a Black-Headed Gull was drifting by looking for food of a different kind -- well, any kind really. It was too cold for people to be sitting outside at the restaurant, but there are always discarded packets of crisps to investigate, or a chance to snatch bread from people feeding the ducks.


  1. Was the content of the baskets considered to be useful to the overall wildlife of the lakes?

    1. I suppose so. If the aquatic plants take nitrates and phosphates out of the water, that's a general benefit. The little perch in the baskets eat the water plants and grow larger, the grebes eat the perch. The men from Aquascience had a low opinion of roach, for some reason, though they thought perch were OK.