Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Kingfisher perched on a branch on the west side of the Long Water, halfway between Peter Pan and the Italian Garden. This picture was taken from the other side of the lake.

The Black Swan is smaller and lighter than the Mute Swans, and considerably more agile. It can walk quite well, unlike the ponderous waddle of a big swan, and it can get up the slippery sloping edge of the lake without an effort. And, as you can see, it has no difficulty standing on one leg when preening.

A female Tufted Duck was also preening under the bridge.

This Black-Headed Gull has a ring, ES63954. This is an ordinary British ring but it is several years old, perhaps seven or eight, and the bird may have a bit of a history, which I can find out by reporting it.

Black-Headed Gulls live a long time, often to well over 30. Recently there have been calls for them to be given rings made of a tougher alloy than the usual aluminium, because these were getting so worn that they became illegible.

A Blue Tit in a yew bush lent a bit of colour to a dull day.

The female Little Owl is now almost always visible from the north side of this year's nest tree. If she isn't, just go round to the west side.

The male owl was also in his habitual place in last year's nest tree, visible from the west side.

In a comment yesterday, Harry G asked me to put a 50p piece in pictures of fungi so that their size can be gauged. For the benefit of foreign readers, this coin is 1.08  inches, 2.7 cm, in diameter. Here is one of the violet mushrooms I published a picture of yesterday, also showing a bit of the cap of a broken one so that you can see that the gills are violet too. So is the stem, as you can see in yesterday's picture. It may be Inocybe lilacina, or a Wood Blewit Lepista nuda, or a Field Blewit Lepista saeva, or something else.

Update: Mario has identified it as a Wood Blewit.

Here is a slightly younger example of the odd skeletal Ink Cap I showed on 29 October, which Mario identified as a Coprinopsis but, since it was a withered ruin, couldn't be sure of the species. There are quite a lot of these, but I can never find a very young one. It seems that they spring up and decay very quickly.

Both these pictures are from the patch of wood chippings under the plane trees near the Physical Energy statue.


  1. The Black Swan could perfectly star in its own version of the Swan Lake. It even appears to have those ballet stretches down to a science!

    1. Maybe I should have used the other picture I took today, where it really is stretching.

  2. The violet mushroom is Lepista nuda (Wood Blewit), but the Ink Cap (Coprinopsis) is still unidentifiable.

    1. Many thanks again. I've corrected my error in the name -- careless of me.

  3. Hi Ralph,
    I love the picture of the blue tit.

    1. Thanks. But how obliging of the little bird to perch nest to some red berries.