Saturday 12 November 2022

A welcome sight of the Little Owl

Sunshine brought out the teenage Little Owl at the Round Pond, who perched in the small lime tree.

His home tree was infested with noisy Rose-Ringed Parakeets.

Four regulars perched in the same bush in the Flower Walk: the bold Coal Tit ...

... the tatty Blue Tit ...

... one of many Great Tits ...

... and one of the four Robins.

A Cormorant at Peter Pan had a background of reflected autumn leaves.

Another wanted to stand on a post, but they were all occupied by others that refused to budge. Finally it found a post with a Lesser Black-Backed Gull on it, which was easy to scare off.

Black-Headed Gulls were preening on the plastic buoys at the Lido. When one bird starts the others can't help doing the same.

EZ73323 was on his usual post.

The young Great Crested Grebe on the Round Pond dozed peacefully in the sunshine.

The Italian Garden Mute Swans were in their usual pool.

The dominant female on the Long Water was at the Vista.

I'm afraid her mate has gone. She is young and can find a new one, but she will never be the queen of the lake again, and probably the Italian Garden pair will take the nesting island. And we shall miss the horrible old male, who was a great character if not a good one.

The sunshine had attracted bees as well as wasps to the fatsia bush by the bridge. There were a few Honeybees as well as this Buff-Tailed Bumblebee.

One of the tall plane trees in the avenue north of the Physical Energy statue was surrounded by Shaggy Scalycap mushrooms (Pholiota squarrosa), not a good sign as it causes white rot in the tree.

On the base of the tree there was a clump of what looked like tiny Common Puffballs amid moss and Herb Robert. Update: Mario has been to see them and has discovered that they are actually Stump Puffballs, Apioperdon pyriforme.

Coneheads by the Dell restaurant.


  1. The first fungi look more like Shaggy Scalycap (Pholiota squarrosa) than Honey Fungus.
    And in the last photo the plant together with the moss is Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), not fumitory.

    1. Thank you very much. Looking up Shaggy Scalycap, I see it's a white rot fungus, so it's still bad news for this majestic old tree though not as pernicious as Honey Fungus.

    2. Got it! The second fungi are not puffballs! They are just baby Scalycaps!

    3. Many thanks, will put that on the blog.

    4. Correction: The last fungi are not baby Scalycaps as I originally thought, but Stump Puffballs (Agioperdon pyriforme)

    5. Thanks again, have altered the text. I did think when looking at them that there was no hint of a separate cap.

  2. Delightful shots of the Little Owl & Coal Tit.

    Always enjoy seeing the fungi photos. A group I'm not very good at but love seeing them.

    I don't think those coneheads are Orthopterans! Before I enlarged the photo, I thought one was that idiot Matt Hancock!!!

    1. Glad to say that Matt Hancock is not a member of my family. He belongs to the Blattidae.

    2. I confess that the first time I read "Matt Hancock" I almost jumped. But then I remembered that there may be thousands of Hancocks unrelated to each other and relaxed.

      Greeks called cockroaches σίλφη. Greek is too euphonic for their own good.

    3. Blatta, on the other hand, sounds finely nasty. As they used to sing,
      Infesta blatta, infesta blatta,
      illa paene ambulat.
      Infesta blatta, infesta blatta,
      cannabinem qui fumat.