Saturday 22 December 2018

A Mistle Thrush on Buck Hill was doing very well in its worm hunt. It got three in a minute and a half.

The rowan tree still has fruit and was attracting plenty of Blackbirds ...

... and a solitary Robin, which flew away before I could move round for a better shot.

Another Robin at the bottom of the hill fluffed itself up, becoming a completely different shape from the slim bird in flying trim in the first picture.

An Oyster Mushroom ...

... and what I thought was a Field Blewit were infinitely more elegant than Zaha Hadid's fungoid restaurant at the other end of the hill.

Update: Mario reports that this mushroom has caused some debate, but his best guess is that it's the splendidly named Fool's Funnel.

Long-Tailed Tits flitted through the trees at the edge of the Serpentine.

The new leaves that emerged in mid-December on a black lime tree have now grown to full size.

The female Little Owl near the Queen's Temple is isn't doing much in this video, but it's always good to see her.

Two Common Gulls attended to their feathers on the buoys surrounding the Lido swimming area.

When Grey Herons are nesting, three's a crowd.

This Great Crested Grebe has foolishly splashed down in the little stream in the Dell, and is stuck there, as it needs a 50 yard run with no obstacles to fly out, and I very much doubt that it would find its way up to the main lake on foot.

I've texted Hugh Smith the Wildlife Officer, who with his usual skill should be able to rescue it. Meanwhile it should be all right. The constant presence of a heron shows that there must be some fish smaller than the huge carp that can be seen from the shore.

A Moorhen and a Tufted Duck shared a branch at Peter Pan.

The dominant Mute Swan at the west end of the Serpentine was in an unsually aggressive mood. He chased an unfortunate female around for several minutes.


  1. The second fungus doesn't look like Field Blewit to me, but I'm not sure what it is

    1. Thank you. Interesting. It seemed a bit small and thin-stemmed for a Field Blewit, but Field Blewits do grow all over Buck Hill so I assumed it must be one. It's about 20 yards from the path at the bottom of the hill near Rudolf Steiner's bench, not very noticeable in the longish grass.

    2. I have been in the park to check and collect the mystery mushroom, but I'm still puzzled. I've also posted some photos in the London Fungi Group Facebook page, but nobody has dared venturing an opinion. If pushed I could say it could be an old unusual form of Clitocybe rivulosa, commonly known as the fool's funnel. This poisonous mushroom grows in the park, and indeed there were some growing nearby.
      Btw Merry Christmas!

    3. Thank you for doing so much towards identifying this odd fungus. What a splendid name 'Fool's Funnel' is.

  2. There is a sub-reddit forum called "The best things in life are chubby", devoted to pictures of spherical-looking or chubby animals. The adorable spherical robin would feel at home.

    Oi, silly Grebe. How did it manage to get itself stuck?

    1. I think the grebe may have flown in from Buckingham Palace garden or St James's Park and come down on the first bit of water it saw. They usually fly at night and look for a glint below them, which can lead to mistakes.