Monday 10 November 2014

Today's bird in the rowan trees on Buck Hill is a Carrion Crow, which alternated between eating the berries and pestering me to feed it.


There were also Mistle Thrushes, Blackbirds, and a single Ring-Necked Parakeet.

A pair of parakeets were fighting in the leaf yard. Only the female would come down to my hand to take a peanut, and every time she got one the male would try to take it off her. After she had lost two to him she became annoyed and resisted strongly. She won this wrestling match.

The seven young Mute Swans all flew in a long line from the Long Water to the Serpentine, and they can now climb high enough to go over the top of the bridge. They pass dangerously close, just above the roofs of the cars. It would be much easier and safer to fly under the arches, but swans don't like doing that.

The female Tawny Owl was in the beech tree. This picture was taken in rain, but she was keeping dry under the overhang of the trunk.

The male Little Owl was in the chestnut tree next to his nest tree, tucked deep into the leaves and hard to see.

Two young Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water were examining a plastic bag.

Although plastic bags are harmful to most wildlife, grebes find them very handy as a stronger and longer lasting alternative to algae in building their nests. So this early reconnaissance will be useful later.

I went to St James's Park to try to see the Kingfisher which has been there for some time. I didn't, but there were at least six Little Grebes. Here is one of them.

Both St James's Park and Regent's Park provide a better habitat for Little Grebes than our park. There are more secluded bits of waterside with overhanging trees and bushes.

These pretty pink mushrooms in Kensington Gardens near the Tawny Owls' tree are some kind of Russula -- there are several species that look like this. They might be the splendidly named Sickener, Russula emetica. They exuded a sticky fluid, and I had to pull stuck-on grass stems off them to take this picture.

Update: Mario thinks they are the Fragile Brittlegill, Russula fragilis.


  1. To recognize a mushroom as a Russula (brittlegills) is quite easy, but to determine which species it is, it's another matter. But I think that this is probably Russula fragilis, the Fragile Brittlegill, as I've found many of them in previous years in the grassy area between the bridge and the little owls' tree. Russula emetica has a much more scarlet cap, and grows under pines.

    1. Thanks for the information. These were definitely not scarlet -- I think the colour in the picture is about right.