Friday 4 August 2017

The pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull has been rejoined by his mate. He went hunting on the shore. At one point he tried lying down to lull a pigeon into a sense of false security, but this time it didn't work.

When I had gone, they made a kill and, having eaten most of it, left the rest for the Carrion Crows ...

... and flew off to the Long Water to stand on the posts at Peter Pan. Here they were joined by a young gull, which went round the post with the male on it, begging. This may be theirs, but further observation will be necessary to be sure.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks are at their noisiest and most demanding, endlessly chasing their parents and begging for food.

The Moorhen chicks at the bridge, which are considerably younger, are feeding themselves some of the time, but occasionally their parents bring them tasty morsels.

The Black Swan was preening near the bridge.

The local dominant Mute Swan was off bullying some other swan, so he had a bit of peace.

The three youngest Greylag goslings were resting in a heap at the other end of the lake.

The two Mallard teenagers on the Serpentine were near the Lido. They are beginning to grow flight feathers, and both have the beginnings of green heads, so they are drakes.

There are another two about the same age on the Long Water, probably both female.

One of the two dark Mallard drakes stared seriously at the camera.

The year-old Grey Heron who lives in the Dell was standing on a rock in the middle of the stream.

One of the Coal Tits in the Rose Garden was waiting for a vacant place on the feeder.

There are still some Sand Martins and House Martins flying over the Serpentine. Sand Martins are noticeably brown when seen from above.

The female Little Owl at the leaf yard was on the south side of her chestnut tree, and it took a while to find her.

There were some pretty little orange mushrooms with pink gills on the south side of the Vista, at the top of the marshy area caused by a burst land drain. I can't identify them.

Update: Mario thinks it may be the Deceiver, Laccaria laccata, so called because of its variable appearance.


  1. I thought our notorious pigeon-killing friend was crouching just like a cat would do before it attacks. It's remarkable how close the bird was to the lady with the striped pants, and how unfazed it was by that.

    Maturity suits the Black Swan: he looks ever more splendid.

    1. Yes, I was thinking of a cat too. I've seen the gull doing this before, with greater success. It does seem to make the pigeons think he's asleep or at least inactive.

    2. I overheard one of my colleagues this evening explaining to another colleague that he had seen the Pigeon-Killing Lesser Black-backed Gull in action this morning and the image of him killing the pigeon kept coming into his mind all day as it was not behaviour that he had expected at all.

    3. Well, he will have to get used to what wild creatures do to each other. The only difference between them and us is that we have slaughterhouses where the killing is done in secret.

  2. It's always tricky to id a mushroom just from a photo, but this looks like the Deceiver, Laccaria laccata.

    1. Thank you. Looking at pictures of this species on the web, there seems to be a close match.

  3. These look like L. laccata to my amateur eye. The Laccarias, as well as being colour-variable per se, also get darker when damp with dew or rain-water. L. amethystina is an ordinary violet-grey when dry but, when wet, turn a rich and implausible purple.

    1. Thanks. The Amethyst Deceiver is on the new illustrated notices showing species that can be seen in the park -- these are very well done. I was wondering why I had never seen one. But if they are greyish when dry, I may have walked past many without recognising them.