Sunday 30 December 2018

This pair of Egyptian Geese has been hanging around in the Dell for several days, and displaying on a treetop. It was clear that they were planning to breed, with their usual cluelessness about the unsuitability of the season. Now they are going ahead.

The little flotilla of Red-Crested Pochards was still cruising around at the island.

A pair of Gadwalls fed at the edge of the Serpentine.

The hybrid goose that is three quarters Bar-Headed and one quarter Greylag visited again from St James's Park.

A Grey Heron standing on the swan island in the Long Water caught a very small fish.

On of the pair of herons in the lowest nest on the island was poking around in the bottom of the nest. It's possible that the female has started laying eggs. They will have to be very, very lucky with the weather to succeed in this attempt.

There is no more fruit on the last rowan tree on Buck Hill, but still some on the ground for Redwings and other fruit eaters to collect.

A pair of Chaffinches picked up spilt birdseed under the feeder in the Rose Garden.

While I was standing very still to video the Chaffinches, a Wren forgot I was there and started hopping around near me. I couldn't see what tiny creatures it seemed to be finding on the bare ground.

A pair of Mistle Thrushes in the Dell flew around rattling furiously and looking ruffled. They were protesting about two Magpies in the trees above them.

A flight of Long-Tailed Tits went through the Dell.

A Robin on a bramble beside the Long Water stared at the camera.

So did a Jackdaw, with that imperious look that means 'Give me a peanut.'

A Great Tit was also expecting to be fed, and was fed of course.

But it is still very difficult to get the shy Coal Tit in the leaf yard to come down to take food from the railings.

The female Little Owl at the Queen's Temple was chased into her hole by a single furious Blackbird. It took her some time to emerge bit by bit.

When I went past later in the hope of a better picture she had gone in again.

There were some pretty little orange-brown mushrooms in the grass nearby, with caps about an inch across. As usual, I couldn't find out what they were.

Update: Mario thinks that they may be The Deceiver. What picturesque names fungi have.


  1. Without checking in the field I would guess that the mushrooms could be Laccaria laccata, commonly known as the deceiver

  2. Thank you for the provisional identification. Probably that's all that can be done. There were only three, about 50 yards SE of the Queen's Temple, and they don't look long-lived.

  3. My Goodness, isn't the oblivious Wren adorable!

    What are they going to do now that the fruit in the rowan trees is gone?

    The only correct response to the Jackdaw's natural authority is proper compliance and submission.

    1. The thrushes will switch to worms. The park is going to be Redwing heaven in a couple of weeks when the Winter Wasteland closes and is dismantled, leaving a vast expanse of bare soil where the grass has been killed but the worms are still alive. For a while they will be the most numerous thrushes in the park, but there will also be Fieldfares, Mistle Thrushes, Blackbirds, a few Song Thrushes, some Pied Wagtails and the usual band of Carrion Crows here. The crows stay when the area is returfed -- which is done with great speed at vast expense -- and turn over the smaller inserts of turf to find worms underneath, which have to be put back in place daily.

    2. "Never go in against a Crow when worms are on the line".

    3. I hope to get some pictures of crows pulling up strips of turf. They can lift surprisingly large ones.

  4. Not as lovely a name as 'amethyst deceiver' (L. amethystina).

    1. This is supposed to grow in the park, according to those pictorial notices, but I've never seen it. My favourite name is still 'Fool's Funnel', which conjures up some ghastly painting by Bosch or Brueghel.