Monday, 2 November 2015

The elusive Kingfisher flew across the Vista several times. It was being shadowed by a Magpie twenty feet above it, and was clearly uneasy. Then it took cover in a bush. This picture was taken from the opposite side of the lake, and is the best I could manage.

The female Teal is still here, in exactly the same place under the parapet of the Italian Garden, still slurping up the nasty-looking slime that has accumulated here. She was first seen on Saturday, near Peter Pan, the day before I saw her.

Finally, something that the Black Swan is afraid of: when a Grey Heron landed on the edge of the Serpentine it moved away. Its companion followed it, but actually the Mute Swans on the lake are used to herons and don't take much notice of them.

The Great Crested Grebes from the fallen poplar are still feeding their young near the bridge. The young grebe looks pleased with its meal, but the fish looks very depressed.

There is an sadly shabby Black-Headed Gull near the island. Here it is perched on the roof of one of the small boathouses. It is grubby beige instead of white, and its feathers are dull and stiff-looking. It doesn't look like a bird that has been in a serious oil spill, but it does seem that something greasy has stained it.

Just across the road, a Pied Wagtail was preening itself on a tree.

The female Little Owl peered at me shyly from under a leaf.

Here mate was on his usual branch enjoying the last day of sunshine.

Here are two mysteries. First, there were seven Cormorants in the middle of the Serpentine bringing up strange-looking objects and eating them, and circling gulls were trying to snatch them. This is the clearest picture I could get from a considerable distance. I have absolutely no idea what these things are.

Second, the patch of wood chippings under the plane trees near Physical Energy has produced yet another species of fungus. I can't identify it from online guides, and I have never seen anything like it before.

Update: Mario comments, 'The fungus is an Ink Cap in the process of leaving its earthly existence, maybe Coprinopsis cinerea or Coprinopsis lagopus.'


  1. The fungus is an Ink cap in the process of leaving its earthly existence, maybe Coprinopsis cinerea or Coprinopsis lagopus.To be sure of the species you must find younger specimens.

    1. Again, many thanks. What a surprise, I had thought that ink caps dissolved into a black mush.

  2. Excellent picture of the Kingfisher, Ralph.
    The number of times we go to watch a Kingfisher near our home and as soon as it comes near, it flies into a bush or is darting about constantly making a picture impossible!