Friday, 28 November 2014

Two Moorhens were displaying at each other on the path by Peter Pan, mooning at each other with the white patches on their hindquarters. I don't know whether this was designed to attract a mate or repel a rival, but I think the latter as they went off in opposite directions afterwards.

The female Tawny Owl was on her usual perch in the beech tree, dozing peacefully. After I had taken several rather dull pictures of her, she woke up ...

... because a Magpie had landed on a branch just underneath her and was squawking at her.

She turned her face to the trunk and tried to ignore it, but it was too annoying and she flew into the nest tree. (By the way, I had carefully approached the tree from the Round Pond side so as not to bring Jays and Magpie along with me, but sometimes they turn up anyway.)

A Sparrowhawk passed high over the leaf yard.

After it was safely out of sight, the usual pairs of Nuthatches ...

... and Coal Tits came out to take pine nuts off the railings.

Both are getting more confident, though it will need careful work to get the Coal Tit to come to my hand, and I don't think the Nuthatches ever will.

On Buck Hill, the easily reached rowan berries have been eaten, and this Mistle Thrush was having to stretch out for less accessible ones. It nearly overbalanced, and put out a wing to steady itself.

There are several patches of fungi on the lawn in front of Kensington Palace, just to the south of the southern floral border lining the approach to the door. I have looked on the web to try to identify these, but without success.

One identification site says that there are 15,000 species of fungus in Britain, so perhaps it isn't surprising.


  1. Wow, the moorhen photo is so wonderful Ralph, I find it amazing that such familiar birds still show themselves in such a different angle

    1. It was an odd moment. I've never seen this display before.

  2. I went to the park today and I found the clump of mushrooms shown by the first picture. They are old and deformed Honey Fungus, Armillaria, although it is difficult to determine the precise species when they are like that. There must be some buried dead wood there. I couldn't find the location of the second photo, although they look like younger specimens of the same fungus, together with some smaller inkcaps.
    By the way, not far from the mushrooms, next to an area of scattered plumes sign of a struggle, there was a dead pigeon without the head. Which predator woud kill such a bird, and then consume just the head?

    1. Many thanks for the identification. The other clump was 50 yards west of the first one, but someone may have stamped on it.

      The headless pigeon was almost certainly the work of a Sparrowhawk. It was probably frightened off the kill before it could eat the rest. Only female Sparrowhawks can carry pigeons; the males are too small to fly with the load.

  3. I wonder how many of those 15,000 UK fungi actually produce mushrooms or similar and how many are petty moulds and yeasts? Sorry on mushroom overload at the moment having just picked up several large supermarket packets @ 10p each! Jim n.L.