Wednesday 22 October 2014

There were two Common Gulls on the buoys around the edge of the Lido swimming area. They are not the first to be spotted here this year, since someone else found one a few days ago, but they are the first I have seen.

Common Gulls are usually said to have pale yellow or yellowish-green legs. This one's legs are mid grey, and the other's were a dingy mustard colour.

A plastic sponge was floating on the Long Water, looking like a piece of cake. Several Coots and Black-Headed Gulls pecked pieces out of it, tasted them and spat them out, leaving the way clear for the next bird to try this deceptive object.

One of the young Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water managed a short flight.

Flying does not come easily to these birds, whose small wings demand a very high unstick speed achieved by a long foot-propelled run. But they do manage to fly reasonable distances, always at night so you seldom see one at any altitude.

The Little Grebe on the Round Pond was visited by a model yacht. It took no notice and went on fishing.

The young Grey Wagtail was on the floating reed beds at the east end of the Serpentine, which were blown off their moorings by yesterday's wind, and are jumbled all over the area. The bird is standing on the plastic tube that was used to cover the top of the mesh fence, which has also come adrift.

A Nuthatch came down to take seeds off the fence of the leaf yard.

The male Tawny Owl was in the beech tree next to the nest tree, in the same place as yesterday. You can see this place by standing under the nest tree and looking up through its withered leaves at the beech tree; the owl is only a few feet from the top.

The Little Owl came out on to his usual perch at 1.30, although the day was cold and windy.


  1. Whether gale-blown or not, I hope someone was alerted to try to retrieve the plastic sponge, before there are innumerable fragments polluting the water. And... still love the loved-up Mandarins from the other day! Jim n.L.

    1. In my experience, derelict plastic sponges sink after a while. The lake is absolutely full of miscellaneous bits of plastic, including a large white table in on of the Italian Gardens ponds, which is now covered with algae and makes a reef for the perch. It all degrades eventually and joins the rubbish of three centuries on the bottom.