Saturday, 1 November 2014

A sunny Saturday with a lot of people in the park is never a very wonderful time for seeing birds, but at least the male Little Owl had come out to lend a bit of distinction to the proceedings. He was in the chestnut tree next to the nest tree.

These two young Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water are always together, and always copying each other's actions. Here they were having a preening session.

So was a male Pochard neat Peter Pan, with his shiny ginger head and red eye looking splendid in the sunshine.

A Feral Pigeon on a duckboard in the Italian Garden was having a really thorough bath, deliberately getting completely saturated to wash out as many as possible of its parasites.

A Grey Heron on a post on the Long Water was languidly stretching one of its enormous wings.

The eight young Egyptian Geese at the Round Pond are still in good order, and were casually wandering around among the hordes of visitors.

This family, hatched at a most unlikely time, has been a remarkable success. We are now hoping that the coming cold weather reduces the number of people feeding them, so that they can get through the vulnerable time when their wings are developing without being overfed on bread that may give some of them 'angel wing'.

The autumn fungi now include some Shaggy Parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota rhacodes) near the bridge.

These are edible, but not as good as the taller Parasol (Macrolepiota procera), of which there are smaller numbers in the park. Last year there was a good stand of these in the shrubbery on the east side of the Long Water, a short way north of the Henry Moore sculpture.


  1. The Shaggy Parasol is edible, but some people suffer stomach upsets after eating it. This is what used to be believed. But recent DNA studies have shown that what used to be thought to be a single species is in reality three species, rachodes, brunneum and olivieri, and they have been transfered to the genus Chlorophyllum, as they are more closely related to a very poisonous American mushrooms (which has been found also in greenhouses in the UK) called Chlorophyllum molybdites, than to the proper Parasol. And it seems that it is really only one of these three species that causes stomach upset. Personally, as I find difficult to tell them apart, I leave them alone. Mario

    1. Thank you for this clarification. I too shall leave it alone. But the proper tall Parasol is one of the most delicious mushrooms, and well worth searching for.