Saturday 7 January 2023

A Spanish Magpie

Readers continue to send in pictures. Grateful thanks to all who are helping me as I am off my feet.

One from today, but not here. Tinúviel took this picture of an Iberian Magpie, Cyanopica cooki, from her window in Cáceres in western Spain. It's odd that in Britain there is only one species of Magpie and one of Jay, while other regions are quite well provided with both.

Not in the park, but at least in the London area, David Element took these two stunning shots of a Kingfisher emerging from the water with a fish ...

... and perched on a twig after catching two.

Mario was looking for mushrooms in Kensington Gardens yesterday, while the weather was still reasonable. He sent a general shot of the view down the lake from the north end. What a lovely place the Italian Garden is; it's so familiar that I often forget to appreciate it. I think that Albert, a man of great taste, would have been horrified by his Memorial and I can imagine him having words with his dear wife when they finally met again in 1901.

Mario's efforts were rewarded by finding a large troop of the wonderfully named Scurfy Twiglet, Tubaria furfuracea, in wood chips under a chestnut tree beside the leaf yard. 'Troop' is the correct term for a stand of mushrooms, and these really do look like a little fungal army about to invade the territory of a rival species (though of course the actual combat takes place underground).

He saw 14 Cormorants on the Long Water, still a good number despite the fish being mostly eaten. These were at Peter Pan,

This is his picture of the Little Grebe shadowing the Gadwalls as usual.

The scrubby land along the north side of the park west of the Long Water is fine for fungi, and is also the home of many Great Tits which are quickly learning to come out and be fed. I think I recognise the background and that this bird is one of my regular customers. They will miss the pine nuts I bring them.

Joan Chatterley has been keeping up the feeding in the Flower Walk, and was delighted to find not just Great Tits but also Blue and Coal Tits coming to her hand, The shyer species have become bolder since the cold spell.

The Robin was staying on the fence, but I'm sure it will come in time.


  1. Everything, small and bit, in the park will be missing you, but they will be waiting when you return.
    Oddly enough we have corvids aplenty, but no Rooks. The only ones I have ever seen are the ones I saw when I visited GB, all too long ago.

  2. Rooks are rare in London too. They have their places in the country and don't swarm everywhere like crows.