Tuesday 2 November 2021

A beautiful day of golden autumn light flattered a Starling in a lime tree beside the Serpentine.

On the ground below another Starling more prosaically investigated a plastic bag some slob had dropped.

A Great Tit stared out from a tree near the bridge.

A Wren had a brief moment of calm beside the Long Water.

A Green Woodpecker climbed the bark of an oak tree, whose deep fissures harbour many insects. The photographer has asked to remain anonymous.

A Carrion Crow washing is always entertaining to watch.

The Peregrine on the crane had some damaged tail feathers. I doubt that a Feral Pigeon had fought back, and it had probably been in a fight with another Peregrine. The pair's territory borders on that of the long established pair on the Houses of Parliament.

When you see three Black-Headed Gulls in close formation, it's certain that one of them has a bit of food and the others are trying to grab it.

This ringed Black-Headed Gull, 28P1, is a park regular. It isn't from an exotic faraway place. Bill Haines tells me that it was ringed at Hosehill Lake Local Nature Reserve, near Theale, Berkshire. It was ringed as a chick in June 2015 and has been wintering here in most years since.

A squirrel in the Dell ate yew fruit. It was being careful to chew the edible red outside off the poisonous centre.

This fox is often seen in the wilderness where the ground near the leaf yard has been fenced off 'for repair', which in practice means leaving it untouched for two years so it's gradually turning into a jungle. The fox feels safe behind the fence and stares curiously at humans.

Near the Henry Moore sculpture, in an exposed and windy place, thousands of young spiders climb up the railings and spin long strands of gossamer so that the wind will carry them to a new home.

Now that the ivy flowers are over, the large population of Common Wasps in the park has switched to Fatsia flowers, which are similar but bigger and come out later. But the insect in the fifth and last shot is not a wasp -- it's a wasp-mimicking hoverfly, the Common Flower Fly, Syrphus ribesii.


  1. The colour-ringed Black-headed Gull '28P1' wasn't ringed at Pitsea Landfill, but at the rather more salubrious Hosehill Lake Local Nature Reserve, Nr. Theale, Berkshire. It was ringed as a chick in June 2015 and has been wintering at Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens in most years since.

    1. Thanks for the correction. I don't know how I got that wrong information, but it was several years ago when I first saw it.

  2. A very Shakespearean use of the word flatter. Jim

    1. Trying to put a lid on a natural tendency to get fancy, but sometimes it slips.

  3. I love the Starling picture. I'd call it "Autumn portrait". The colous are so gorgeously autumnal.

    Hate to say this, but I have never seen so many spider in my life as I did in England. Ours are better at hiding!

    1. A curious coincidence with that spider video. I've just started reading the recently published English translation of Fred Vargas' Quand sort la recluse, which I'd already read in the original and much enjoyed. The day before, I was reading the chapter where Adamsberg and Irène Royer visit Professor Pujol the haughty arachnologist. Royer tells Pujol, 'You know what I had the privilege of seeing one day? A whole swarm of baby spiders flying away with the wind on their gossamer.' Pujol replies, 'You were lucky, madame, it's a fine sight.'

      And the following day, that's exactly what I saw.

    2. I think if you looked up the definition of "serendipity", that'd be written in the dictionary! I think it was Jung that said there were no coincidences, only synchronicities.