Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Mute Swans on the Long Water have lost another cygnet, and only one survives. Here it is being carried protectively by its mother.

No doubt this loss was caused by another fox raid. All the possible nesting sites around the Long Water are dangerously exposed to foxes, which can lie up in the dense shrubbery by day and come out at night. The male of this pair lost not only his nest but his mate to a fox last year, and when he and his new mate looked for a nest this year, they took a long time over it and rejected this site several times before settling for it as the best of a bad lot. Sadly, their suspicion was well founded.

All the other broods of swans are on the Serpentine, and there have been no losses in the past few days: there are three broods of four, three and one.

The Great Crested Grebes have also been hesitant about nesting, and there have been many false starts. The pair who built on the edge of the reed bed to the west of the Lido -- where there are currently two singing Reed Warblers -- have just reoccupied the site after several attempts and failures. The pair under the willow tree near the bridge abandoned their last one and have now built a fourth nest farther into the tree and very hard to see. This is the pair whose territory includes the baskets of twigs near the bridge. Here is a technically poor but quite interesting picture of one of them submerged and withdrawing from an examination of the twigs.

It is swimming backwards: I don't think any bird except a grebe, with its unique turbine-blade toes, is capable of doing this. It poked its head into the basket and backed out again several times before it surfaced.

The bizarrely sites Coots' nest on the open edge of the Serpentine is still there after three days, and occupied.

It seems impossible that it will succeed, exposed as it is to gulls, dogs and humans.

The Common Terns are still on the Long Water.

This Wood Pigeon tried to steal a peanut from a Carrion Crow, and was sent packing by the furious bird, which emerged from the encounter with a beak full of grey feathers.

No comments:

Post a Comment