Monday, 28 September 2015

A Ring-Necked Parakeet in the leaf yard was eating yew leaves. These are the most poisonous part of the plant. Birds can get away with eating the berries, since only the seeds inside are poisonous and are not digested in a bird's fast digestive system, but I wonder what happened to the parakeet here.

A Starling was wandering around the terrace of the Lido restaurant, apparently picking up crumbs. But when I blew up the pictures, you could see that actually catching crane flies, of which there are large numbers all over the park at the moment.

The Great Crested Grebes on the Long Water were sticking to traditional fare. Here two chicks make a rush for the latest fish.

There were five Shovellers on the Long Water -- not much of a showing but more should arrive in a while. They are on the far right of this picture taken across the lake. I haven't cropped into it to show them more clearly, because at the far left there are two terrapins sunbathing, both Red-Eared Sliders.

Above them in a willow tree, a Grey Heron was also sunbathing, in the Space Shuttle posture.

A little group of Mallards flew past. The drakes are now in full breeding plumage and have started chasing the females, although there will be no actual breeding till next spring.

A Cormorant was preening on a post near Peter Pan, with the sunlight showing off the oily iridescence of its feathers.

The male Little Owl was in this year's nest tree. It was windy and his usual perch was swaying too much to be comfortable.

These mushrooms were growing on wood chips that have been laid as a mulch under some plane trees near the Physical Energy statue. I can't identify their species, but if Mario is reading this I bet he can. Update: it's same species as I photographed on 11 September in a different patch of wood chips, a Stubble Rosegill, Volvariella gliocephala. But this one is white where the last one was grey and shinier and more sticky-looking. Thanks. Mario.

Sorry this blog post is a bit late. My internet connection went down.


  1. You have already photographed this mushroom not long ago.
    Pink gills, bag-like volva: Stubble Rosegill mushroom (Volvariella gloiocephala)

    1. Thanks very much for the identification. These are much paler than the one I photographed earlier. It's a patch of wood chips under the plane trees on the Albert Memorial side of Physical Energy, and there had been quite a lot of them, now much stamped on.

  2. Was through today at dusk (6.15 - 7.00). Could not see the little owls as there were too many leaves and I was unsure exactly where to look. Thought I would check the tawny tree only to find it had been seriously massacred with a chain saw. I thought I had got the wrong tree until I noticed the sawdust and clean ends. There are few leaves and the tree looks dead or dying. Are there any plans for 2016 like a nestbox or will you be searching for a new nest site once the owls have re-located? Would be a real shame if they could not be found as they are a tourist attraction.

    1. The Tawnies' tree collapsed of its own accord, rendering it useless for the owls. It has only been tidied up to avoid further falls. Most of the horse chestnuts in the park look very sick in late summer because of leaf miner, but recover the following spring. Have asked Tony Duckett about putting up a nestbox and he thinks he may be able to do it (بكرة في المشمش). There will be a serious search for the owls when the leaves have fallen.