Friday 19 November 2021

Sorry for the delay in putting up today's blog post. I had an internet breakdown and it's still not working properly.

Goldcrests are not shy, but they're hard to film as they dash around in the bushes.

It paused on a twig for just long enough to get a close-up shot.

The Grey Wagtail had been whizzing around catching midges for some time, and took a rest in one of the Italian Garden fountains.

Then it flew on to the roof of the loggia, where its bright yellow underside camouflaged it among the lichen.

A Long-Tailed Tit waited for more of the flock to arrive so that they could cross the dangerous gap at the Vista together.

Neil took a pleasing portrait of a Great Tit near the bridge, also surprisingly well camouflaged by its yellow front.

Thanks to Mark Williams for this fine shot of a Starling in yesterday's sunshine.

A male Rose-Ringed Parakeet contrasted with red leaves. Well hidden in summer, they become dangerously visible when the leaves turn and fall off.

A Jay in the Flower Walk waited for a peanut.

A Grey Heron and a Cormorant stared sourly at each other on the posts at the island.

The Black Swan was ashore at the Dell restaurant, trying its luck with the passers-by. It saw me, gave a melodious hoot, and came over for some peanuts.

Three trees growing close together at the bottom of Buck Hill form a single shapely canopy. I was uncertain of their species, but Neil has discovered a Hornbeam fruit on one of them, so that's what they are.

The rotten horse chestnut near the Serpentine Gallery that fell down recently now has a second lot of mushrooms growing on it. They look like Oyster Mushrooms and have the characteristic gills going all the way down the stem, but are darker than an Oyster Mushroom usually is. Update: Mario confirms that it really is an Oyster Mushroom, just a rather dark specimen.

Yesterday's picture of the borehole that feeds the lake reminds me that the three arches where the Westbourne river used to flow in still exist at the back of the Italian Garden loggia. Only the middle one actually had the small river flowing through it, the other two are purely ornamental.

Here is an early 19th century engraving of how it used to look before the river, by then very foul with sewage from houses built near its course, was diverted in 1860 when the borehole was dug and the Italian Garden built. The Italian Garden is considerably higher than the water level of the lake.

The Winter Wasteland in Hyde Park opened today.

It looks like a dull version of Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights ...

... but the cruel and unusual punishments it offers are more reminiscent of his Hell.


  1. The mushroom could be Clustered Grey-gill, also known as Clustered Domecap. It is great to cook, with a subtle flavour although the stems can be tough. Jim

    1. Thanks. But I think I'll give it a miss. I like my fungus identification to be 'howlingly obvious' rather than 'could be'. Did find and eat some Field Blewits the other day.

    2. PS -- are you sure? My pictures of Lyophyllum decastes don't show the gills reaching down the stem.

    3. Oh I think you are right, it would not be Lyophyllum with decurrent gills, most likely it is an Oyster. Jim

  2. The seasons turn, and here comes the Winter Wasteland again to make everyone in this blog miserable.

    To have the Black Swan come up to you and call you softly must be such a dreamy and unforgettable experience!

    1. P.S.: Is your internet connection behaving itself now, BTW?

    2. I suppose the Wasteland makes some of its visitors happy. But it relieves them of staggering amounts of money at every turn.

      Thank you, the internet seems to be behaving now. Weekend evenings are the worst time as people start watching Netflix.

  3. The fungus is Pleurotus ostreatus, Oyster mushroom. Its colour can be White or cream or brown or blue-grey,
    Lyophyllum decastes grows on soil, not on wood

    1. Thank you. Probably you know where this recently broken tree is, about halfway between the Serpentine Gallery and the bridge.