Tuesday 31 August 2021

A female Teal appeared on the Long Water -- only an occasional visitor here.

The first Shoveller, a drake in eclipse, had returned.

The five Mute cygnets were at Peter Pan. You can tell which is the odd one out by the slight distance between it and the four next to their father. But the uneasy truce continues. Although the cygnets peck at it sometimes, the extremely aggressive father seems quite happy with it. Perhaps he feels that having five makes him look good.

The solitary Coot chick in the Italian Garden stood on a curious hump in the algae. I think these are pushed up by the pressure of oxygen underneath as the algae photosynthesise.

A young Herring Gull dived for leaves and played with them.

The young Grey Herons on the island can already fly, but keep returning to the nest because their parents will feed them there. They should get kicked out pretty soon.

The male Little Owl was in a chestnut tree a short distance from the nest tree. Thanks to Neil for finding him, a tricky task when he's away from home.

The female Peregrine was on the barracks in the morning, but flew off and didn't return.

The young Grey Wagtail turned up again in the pool at the top of the Dell waterfall, where it perched on a drainpipe.

A Wren scolded from a twig in the Rose Garden. The intruder was a Magpie.

A bright patch of Gaillardia attracted Honeybees ...

... Common Drone Flies (Eristalis tenax) ...

... and a Red Admiral butterfly.

The commonest butterfly in the park at the moment is the Speckled Wood, but it's a lovely creature and worth another picture.

Honeybees browsed on Coreopsis flowers in the Flower Walk. This is an experiment to see how YouTube deals with 4K videos. I'm told that they are compressed much less severely than HD videos, and that might be the way to get better quality than the dreadfully pixelated things I've been offering you. Please comment if you can't view it.

There is a patch of Shaggy Parasol mushrooms under a yew tree near the bridge.

This fungus is on a horse chestnut tree between the Serpentine Gallery and the bridge. I've never seen anything like it before and have no idea what it is.


  1. Ralph- your Shoveler is in fact an eclipse drake. Yesterday I visited the London Wetland Centre for the first time in a couple of years & there were quite a few Shoveler, Gadwall & Teal plus the first few Wigeon & a rather non-descript eclipse Garganey.

    Good to see you saw plenty of insects yesterday. I didn't see a single butterfly though did see a couple of Migrant Hawkers, 3 hoverfly species but the star was a Red Underwing moth on the outside of a hide.

    1. Thanks for the correction. There were four more of them today.

      There are still quite a few Speckled Woods and Small Whites in the park. The Meadow Browns, our most numerous species, seem to have gone.

  2. I can see the 4K video perfectly well. The image is quite high quality, at least as far as my internet connection is conderned.

    The video shows the diving abilities of the young gull perfectly well. it's cleae that all its playfulness is giving it excellent diving practice.

    Great to see the stubborn cygnet is fairly on its way to being adopted, or at least being kicked out concurrently with the other cygnets.

    1. Glad to hear that the 4K video is working. If it buffers excessively, just set YouTube to view it in HD. The image will still be better than if the video had been uploaded in HD.

      The cygnets will be tolerated by their parents till nesting restarts next spring.