Tuesday 15 October 2019

It was the day for doing the monthly count of wetland birds for the BTO, and there was a surprise: Egyptian Geese were everywhere.

I counted 210 of them, double the normal number. But when I had finished the count and walked round the lake again, most of them had disappeared. It seems that a flock had been passing through on their way to somewhere else. Egyptians don't migrate in the ordinary way, but they move around easily enough.

I'm pretty sure that there are about 40 Pochards on the lake, but could only find 15. They tend to lurk under the trees on the edge of the Long Water, sometimes invisibly. This one was under the willow next to the bridge.

A young Great Crested Grebe came into the edge of the Serpentine to look for small aquatic creatures, which are easier to get than fish which have to be chased, and so suitable prey for an inexperienced bird. It had a moment of trouble with a Coot.

A Cormorant seemed to be standing on the water in the middle of the lake. There are many fallen trees in the Long Water with branches that reach almost up to the surface.

The trick looks less remarkable when a Moorhen does it.

A young Herring Gull found a bit of flatbread beside the Round Pond and had difficulty finding a quiet place to eat it, but finally succeeded.

Black-Headed Gulls jostled on the handrail of the jetty at the Lido. They left a safe distance between them and the Lesser Black-Backed Gull at the far end.

A Robin hopped around in a flower bed looking for insects.

A Wren was out on a path beside the Long Water.

The Coal Tit near the bridge came out confidently to be fed. She has to wait until the larger tits have collected their food to avoid being knocked aside.

Starlings at the Lido restaurant raided the remains of a plate of fish and chips. Mushy peas and tartare sauce went down well, but the slices of lemon were not popular.

There were still some Migrant Hawker dragonflies in and around the Italian Garden.

I think these large pale brown mushrooms behind the dead willow are rather over-mature Field Blewits, Lepista saeva.


  1. Great to be able to see a Grebe from so near. Love seeing its shining white belly so much.

    I wonder if any animal would eat unsweetened lemon slices of its own will.

    It looks as if smaller gulls have a healthier respect for Lesser Black Backs than they do for Herring Gulls.

    1. The Black-Headed Gulls are probably right. Lesser Black-Backs really do seem to be fiercer than Herring Gulls. From comments on my gull video, it looks as if Yellow-Legged Gulls are even fiercer.

  2. Without seeing the fungi in real life, I wouldn't hazard a guess as to species; but it could easily be a matter of being rain-soaked rather than over-mature. A lot of fungi look fleshy and past-it when they've drunk a bit too much. (WARNING: Possible Inherent Moral Alert)

    1. They were also very large, but drinking will do that to you too.