Sunday 26 October 2014

The yew bush to the north of Peter Pan was full of activity, with several Blackbirds and Ring-Necked Parakeets eating its berries, and Blue and Great Tits hopping around looking for insects. These were joined by a Goldcrest.

Goldcrests like yews, which give these tiny birds cover in all seasons, but I had never seen one in this bush before.

Next to the yew, in a hawthorn, a Song Thrush was waiting until things quietened down so that it could have a go at the berries.

The loud rattles of Mistle Thrushes around the beech tree next to the Tawny Owl's nest tree showed that an owl was in sight.

You can see the difference in the patterns of the spots of Song Thrushes and Mistle Thrushes. Song Thrushes' spots have pointed tops and cluster in rows along the bird's body. Mistle Thrushes' spots are more oval and wider, and are arranged in a more transverse way. This is more reliable than distinguishing the species by size or colour, which you can never be quite certain of, especially in poor light.

The Tawny Owl himself was taking no notice of this chorus of disapproval.

Both Little Owls were on view. The female was near the male's usual perch in the nest tree ...

... and the male was in the adjacent chestnut, mostly obscured by leaves blowing about so I was lucky to get this hasty shot.

There was a different Pied Wagtail on the roof of the small boathouse. This is a first-winter bird, with a grey back and light greyish marks on its face. An adult female would be similar with a white face, and an adult male would be almost entirely black and white.

Recently I claimed that Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea) was growing in fairy rings in the park and was challenged by Mario, who said that the park's fairy rings consisted of the true Fairy Ring Mushroom (Marasmius oreades). Since then I have been looking for a Honey Fungus ring and have not found one, as all the rings of any variety had been smashed by mowing. But today I found a ring of a different fungus near the Serpentine Gallery.

However, I don't know what it is -- maybe a Lactarius species? It was growing between a horse chestnut and a recently cut down lime tree.

There was also this violet-tinged mushroom in the middle of Buck Hill.

It might be a Field Blewit (Clitocybe saeva, formerly Lepista saeva). However, its thin stem makes it look quite like a Fool's Funnel (Clitocybe rivulosa), a mushroom so poisonous that you shouldn't even touch it, let alone eat it.


  1. Beautiful light and colours in the Goldcrest photo. With their liking for dark conifers and constant movement they are so tricky to photograph.

    1. Thanks. Goldcrests just happen occasionally, usually when your camera is switched off.