Monday 29 October 2018

The temperature is falling, insects are becoming scarce, and the small  birds are getting hungry.

Two of the Carrion Crows on Buck Hill enjoyed a play fight.

Another crow picked a tiny insect out of the blue plastic non-slip mat on the jetty at the Lido.

This mat is a tiny ecosystem. Birds, mostly Egyptian Geese, deposit droppings which collect in the grooves and can't be removed by cleaning. These attract insects, and the insects attract more birds.

Wagtails also hunt on the blue mat. But this Pied Wagtail preferred to look for bugs along the edge of the Serpentine.

A flock of Long-Tailed Tits hunted in the trees near the Italian Garden.

A Robin looked up from its search for insects in the bushes.

A pair of Feral Pigeons canoodled on the roof of one of the small boathouses.

The notorious Lesser Black-Backed Gull had just accounted for yet another pigeon.

The Black Swan pushed through a crowd of Black-Headed Gulls and Coots to get to someone who was feeding the waterfowl.

The air bubblers in the lake, which are supposed to oxygenate the water, bring up silt and little creatures for Shovellers to filter out of the water.

A young Grey Heron stood on a post at the island and muttered quietly to itself.

One of the teenage Great Crested Grebes from the east end of the island was fishing by itself. They are completely independent now ...

... and their parents, at last relieved from the long work of bringing them up, were hanging out quietly together.

There were originally four rowan trees on Buck Hill. One has been killed by Honey Fungus, and a second is in a bad way with half the bark at the base of the trunk rotted off by the mycelium of the fungus growing up in it.

Young parasol msuhrooms the size of golf balls are growing under the bushes near the Albert Memorial. This is probably a Shaggy Parasol, which is commoner in the park than the true Parasol and, unlike it, is not safe to eat as it gives some people a stomach upset.


  1. The Grebe couple look so smart and happy together, once they've got ridden of their pesky children.

    Why is the Heron muttering, I wonder. To me it looks tired, or cold, or sleepy, or all three.

    How beautiful and elegant, the simple combination of black, grey and white in the Wagtail.

    1. A European visitor remarked to me that the Pied Wagtails and Long-Tailed Tits here were strangely dark. And of course they are -- both uniquely British subspecies.

  2. We are starting to get a few English Pied Wagtails right now (we call them lavanderas enlutadas, "wagtails in mourning clothes"). After last weekend's severe weather we are expecting their numbers to grow so that they are more easily visible. They are indeed lovelier than their paler sisters.

    1. A laundress in Spanish and a shepherdess in French. It makes the name 'wagtail' seem a bit prosaic.