Tuesday 12 September 2023

Goose in a tangle

The familiar Canada Goose with a speckled head had a bit of fine fishing line around its bill, and hadn't been eating for several days.

A closer look, with a feather caught in the line.

So it had to be caught and disentangled, an operation which eventually took ten people. After it had dodged a boat at the island for some time it was finally captured on the shore. This stresses the bird, of course, but it has to be done and we think it will be all right.

The bloodthirsty Mute Swan had parked his five cygnets on the gravel strip at the Vista ...

... and come over the other side to beg for food from visitors. They thought he was sweet. I didn't disillusion them.

The female swan in the Italian Garden was dozing peacefully on the edge of a pool, ignoring passers by. Even the junior swans know who rules in the park.

One of the Moorhen chicks climbed nimbly up a stone kerb.

The Great Crested Grebe family from the Long Water went under the bridge on to the Serpentine, where the fishing is better. One of the three chicks dawdled behind and had to catch up.

This is another old Grey Heron who likes to rest his weary legs. He had found a comfortable tussock of grass in one of the wire baskets at the island.

The female Little Owl at the Serpentine Gallery looked back over her shoulder from her perch in the lime tree.

A female Blackbird at Queen's Gate looked gravely at the camera. Someone must have been feeding her, because when I threw down some raisins she hopped out and ate them.

A young Blackbird, probably her offspring, enjoyed pyracantha fruit nearby in the Flower Walk.

A Blue Tit stared down from the corkscrew hazel bush.

Now that the Robins have started singing again you realise how many there are. They have half a dozen carefully spaced territories along the east side of the Long Water.

This large white fungus was growing beside the path near the Henry Moore sculpture. Update: Mario went to investigate it the following day and found it badly decayed and falling apart, but he thinks it was probably a Giant Funnel, Leucopaxillus giganteus.

By a strange coincidence, the notices about toxic blue-green algae were put up the day after the Lido closed for public swimming. They're still up.

There's going to be a swimming event in the Serpentine this weekend. I wonder whether it will be fortunately discovered that the algae have gone away.

The Albert Memorial glittering in sunlight against a stormy sky,


  1. Definitely will be okay to swim for a hefty whack....

  2. Well done all round to the goose rescuers..lovely photo of the memorial....I do especially like the close up pics of bees etc...I guess a quality camera helps !.regards, Stephen.

    1. The bees are photographed from 8 feet away with the 600mm lens. It beats using a macro lens that scares the insects off.

  3. Better a photo of fungus than that dreadful sculpture: Henry really got away with it there :l

    1. The fungus looks very like Zaha Hadid's restaurant just up the hill.

    2. When I went to check the fungus today, it was already very rotten and came apart immediately. My best guess, given the condition of the specimen, is that it probably is Leucopaxillus giganteus, the giant funnel.

    3. Thank you for the identification. It looked quite firm yesterday, but I couldn't get a side view as it was behind the railings.

  4. I hope the swimmers won't get tangled
    up in the fishing lines or swallow a weight....Jenna

    1. There are worse things to swallow in the wake of a swan.

  5. What a spectacularly lit picture. It looks like something out of a fairytale.
    I was quite worried about the tangled Goose seeing the video; it looked to me as if it might take some wrangling to catch it. Fortunately it didn't look too frazzled, and I'm sure it will be eternally grateful to its kind saviours.
    What are the odds any of the swimmers will encounter a swan at its most territorial?

    1. This swimming event involves hundreds of swimmers thrashing round and round like a very slow wet buffalo stampede. It's enough to put off even the most aggressive swan.

      The Albert Memorial was designed, quite deliberately, as a giant version of a medieval reliquary for the bones of a saint. But instead of a saint we have a giant Albert holding the catalogue of the Great Exhibition, which was his own idea. He was a good man and I don't see why he shouldn't have a reliquary, but I think he would have balked if he knew he was going to be commemorated by this hilarious structure.

  6. Are they not contradicting their notices here..with one saying keep out of water from hazardous substance and another saying swim in water lol. Makes sense.