Saturday, 27 February 2016

The Black Swan is now regularly breaking up Mute Swan couples when he sees them displaying to each other. Here he advances in his low threat posture. This posture at first meant nothing to the Mute Swans, but they have learnt to fear it.

He was showing off for the benefit of girlfriend number two, who was a few yards away.

The Mute Swan pair that were displaying on the bank near the bridge yesterday were now pulling up grass for a nest.

The dominant male swan on the Long Water came over to shoo away some swans that were in the water nearby, but he left this pair alone. It was too much effort for him to climb ashore, and he can deal with them later.

Meanwhile, he and his mate are taking little interest in the artificial island that was built for swans, and some Canada Geese seem to be claiming it.

Last year a pair of Canadas nested successfully here, and swans didn't, after a couple of unlucky accidents one of which cost the female of that pair her life.

The Egyptian Geese on the Round Pond lost another chick yesterday evening, and are down to four.

They are doing their best to guard them, but there were three Lesser Black-Backed Gulls waiting hungrily just offshore. Here are two of them.

There were also some Carrion Crows, which are quite capable of carrying off a small chick. But here is a different crow, the one beside the Serpentine that bangs me on the head if I don't feed it, looking at me expectantly.

After I took this picture he made repeated attacks on my fake fur hat, to the amusement of the passers by.

A Blackbird beside the Henry Moore sculpture had found a wireworm.

There have been Dunnocks in the shrubbery around the Sunken Garden for several years.

The Little Owl in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial was guarding his hole from the Stock Doves.

The Little Owl near Henry Moore was also visible from a distance.


  1. Hi Ralph,

    Nice to met you yesterday, great blog and thanks for the tips on locations.

    Alan - Boston, MA

    1. Good to meet you too. To get to Rainham Marshes, take the District or Circle Underground line to Tower Hill, which is next to Fenchurch Street railway station. From here take the train to Purfleet station and walk northwest, following the brown pedestrian signs, for a mile.

  2. Do you think that the park staff would allow the black swan to nest in the park without any intervention?

    1. Yes. But I don't think anything will happen this year, because the girlfriends are too young.