Thursday 27 August 2020

There are two Grey Wagtails in the park now, one on the shore at the Lido and the familiar one on the waterfall in the Dell.

Otherwise it was a day without surprises. I heard the Hobbies calling from a distance and hurried towards the sound but they didn't come into view. The Little Owl on Buck Hill remains unfindable, and her usual hole is occupied by Stock Doves -- which is not a disaster, as she has another up the hill where she nested a few years ago.

There were sights of the regulars. The young Robin behind the Lido is now grown up and looking much smarter than last year's Robins, which are tatty from nesting and feeding their young.

The usual Dunnock lurked in a bush in the Rose Garden ...

... and the young Magpie here has stopped begging and was foraging in a flower bed beside a parent.

One of the Great Tits at the bridge stared impatiently. She wanted to be fed, not photographed.

Another stare from a Starling at the Lido.

The familiar Black-Headed Gull EZ73323 was on the No Swimming sign where it always perches.

A young Herring Gull was begging at a parent, with as little effect as yesterday's young Lesser Black-Back.

Another swallowed a crayfish claw whole. What heroic digestions gulls have.

The Great Crested Grebe family from the east end of the island were at the far end of the lake. When the parent preened, the young grebe instinctively copied it. In the intervals it begged to be fed. Actually we have already seen this bird catching fish for itself.

Two teenage Moorhens probed the paving in the Italian Garden.

The Black Swan was up at the bridge bossing around some Mute Swans.

The youngest Egyptian Goose on the lake is now a handsome teenager, seen here in the horse ride along the Serpentine Road.

The Long Water is full of Pochards, both Red-Crested and Common. It's good to see so many Common Pochards, as the species is in sharp decline and red-listed.

A Greenbottle fly worked over a Michaelmas daisy.

A patch of Poplar Fieldcap mushrooms on a dead tree root near the greenhouses.

Finally, to cheer up a dull blog post, a splendid picture from yesterday by Julia: the female Kestrel was hunting in the Meadow.


  1. I have to disagree with Ralph: today's post is very far from being dull. The surprising prettiness of the Starling, the eager intellitent eyes of the Great Tit, the lovely Robin, all grown up, the triumphant look of the Black Swan, the antics of the Grebe chick... what more would anyone ask for?

    1. Someone told me this morning that he'd just seen an eagle in London. I don't think he had -- but in fact there are two records of White-Tailed Eagles in the London area this century.

    2. Yup, I agree with Tinuviel, wonderful post, very fun to see the updates on life in the park.

    3. Racking my brains over what someone might confuse with an eagle flying over London and coming up empty. Maybe a young eagle in dispersion period? They tend to roam away when they disperse and pop up in the most unexpected places.

    4. It's very hard to tell the size of a bird at altitude. My guess was a Common Buzzard. These are not uncommon in London and there was one very high up over the lake a couple of days ago.

  2. The mushrooms are not Honey Fungus, but Poplar Fieldcap (Cyclocybe cylindracea) which fruits on dead poplar stumps and roots, as well as on willow. Supposedly rare in the UK, it's present in few locations in the Park and in the Gardens. It has been cultivated since the time of the early Greeks and Romans, and it is commonly sold in European markets.

    1. Thank you. I was struggling with identification and was not happy with Honey Fungus.