Tuesday, 3 November 2015

One of the Pochard-Tufted Duck hybrids was on the Serpentine, the first time I've seen her in months.


She is the same shape and size as a Pochard, and almost the same as a Tufted Duck in colour, except for a trace of while vermiculated pattern on her back. She has a noticeable white patch in front of her eye, but so do some Tufted Ducks. Her most distinctive geature is her marnalade eyes. intermediate between the yellow of a Tufted Duck and the brown of a female Pochard.

I couldn't find the female Teal, and no one that I spoke to had seen her either, so she may have moved on. However, the Black Swan and Mute cygnet are still cruising together at the east end of the Serpentine.


The male Great Crested Grebe of the pair at the island was fishing under the moored pedalos. You can just see him behind the reflection of the number 42 (which is the answer to the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything).


The grebes from the nest on the fallen poplar had taken advantage of his preoccupation by moving up the Serpentine almost as far as the island. That is way outside their territory, and they will be driven back by the island pair.

A pair of Moorhens were eating each other's parasites in a bush beside Peter Pan.


This is their favourite place, since it is high enough above the water to avoid trouble from Coots, and well sheltered by branches to keep the gulls out.

The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull had claimed a new victim near the Dell restaurant.


The young Grey Wagtail was running along the north shore of the Serpentine near the Triangle car park.


The male Little Owl was on his usual branch, though rather masked by leaves.


The female was in the chestnut tree just up the hill, fully visible for a change.


This is the sixth kind of mushroom I have found growing on the the wood chips under the plane trees near Physical Energy.


I had hoped it was an Amethyst Deceiver, just because that's such a good name, but it seems too pale and its cap is too conical. My best guess is that it's Inocybe geophylla var. lilacina (which has no English name), a species that I wrongly attributed to the violet mushroom I photographed on 29 October.

10 comments:

  1. Can't help with the fungus, but I am wondering how that relationship between the Black and young Mute Swan will develop, especially when the latter will turn colour (if they're still hanging out together then)... Seems an unusual relationship. Not meaning to anthropomorphise too much, but it all seems a bit adolescent?

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  2. I agree with Ulrike, it does seem an odd yet fascinating relationship. I wonder, has there ever been a Black-Mute Swan hybrid? Sue.

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    1. This turned up on a Google Image search. https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlew/10446286053

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  3. It looks like Inocybe lilacina (it is now considered a species, rather than a variety of geophylla); but in the recent past I saw some Blewits (Lepista nuda) in the wood chips. I therefore would like to see the gills to be sure.
    Mario

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    1. Thanks very much. I've put a picture of another one in today's blog (4 November).

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  4. It would be most helpful with your mushroom photos to have some sense of the size! (you could put a 50 pence piece adjacent...) My money would be on Blewit (also classified as Clitocybe nuda, by the by). [Very tasty fried in bacon fat - but *not one to eat raw; the equally tasty L. saeva (Wood Blewit) doesn't have that rich mauve cap.] Mario is of course right about the gills: purple gills fading over time to pale lilac or pale brown or buff would suggest L. nuda; white (or pale lilac, annoyingly) ? Inocybe geophylla var. lilacina (not a mushroom I knew, thanks Mario!).

    Harry G.

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    1. Thanks. A good idea and I've done this.

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  5. By the east end of the serpentine do you mean the very end of the serpentine (near Kinghtsbridge tube station?)

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  6. For the sake of precision:
    Lepista nuda = Wood Blewit
    Lepista saeva = Field Blewit
    Both are present in the park
    Mario

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