Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Mute Swans nesting in the netting east of the Lido are hatching their eggs. Here is a new cygnet still damp from the egg, while another is just emerging on the left ...


... and, a few minutes later, beginning to sit up and take notice.


Ths swans on the Long Water had taken their family up to the Vista, where there were a lot of other swans. The male showed off in front of his mate by charging at them, and managed to chase most of them away.


The cygnets watched, learning correct swan behaviour.

The Black Swan was on the edge of the Serpentine, picking up sticks. His nesting behaviour seems to be as obsessional as that of a Coot. His ruffles are beginning to go back, but it is several weeks before he will be elegant again.


This is the first picture I was able to get of the Pochard with a duckling, near the platform of Bluebird Boats. Virginia had found them several days before. Probably the duckling has managed to survive because its mother kept it under the platform. It was diving very efficiently, which would also help to preserve it from the gulls.


This is the first time in anyone's memory that a Pochard has managed to breed in this park, which is hardly surprising when you consider that only two pairs are permanent residents.

On the other side of the lake, the Greylag Geese were keeping the pigeons away from their goslings.


At the Lido restaurant, a Starling hungrily eyed some chips, a food they are particularly fond of.


A Great Spotted Woodpecker near the Henry Moore sculpture was collecting more traditional food for its young.


So was a Blackbird near the Diana fountain.


The Little owlets were playing peekaboo in the chestnut tree.


Their mother was in the same tree, keeping an eye on them.


The people at Bluebird Boats saw two Common Terns yesterday on the Serpentine, perching on the moored pedalos between fishing expeditions.

13 comments:

  1. That picture of the father Swan teaching proper (swan) behaviour to its cygnets could be a great illustration for a manual on correct parenting for swans, if swans could write and read books.


    Isn't the Black Swan something of an inspiration for Coots? He's everything a Coot would wish itself to be: tall, dark, and handsome, not to mention a great fighter and a great decorator.

    Gorgeously magical pictures of the newborn cygnets, by the way!

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    1. Perhaps young swans are shown Conan the Barbarian.
      'Conan! What is best in life?'
      'To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.'
      (This famous line is actually lifted from a book by Harlod Lamb, Genghis Khan, Emperor of All Men.)

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    2. Doubtless they are. There is no other explanation.

      I've always adored that quote, but it must be heard in full Schwarzeneggerian accent for maximum effect!

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  2. I'm imagining swans talking with the younger Schwarzenegger accent. Ouch.

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  3. I think it would actually suit them very much!

    I was never able, when I was younger, to take that movie seriously. I know it is a great movie and I enjoy it very much, but as it was filmed partly in Spain, some of the non-speaking actors were Spanish. The actress that played Conan's mother was an (in-)famous Spanish softcore actress. I was never able to get past the "Hey, that's Nadiuska!" shock.

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    1. Didn't know that. But I don't believe the film needs taking seriously.

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  4. The pictures of the cygnets emerging are amazing if only for demonstrating how strong those eggs are to take the weight of a swan on them.

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    1. Its webbed feet help to spread the load. Eggs are very strong indeed under a distributed pressure.

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  5. The black swan nesting behaviour is interesting. Mute swans "practice" nest building before they are old enough to breed (http://www.swanlife.com/life-in-the-field-groups.html), so it could be a form of this behaviour.

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    1. Thanks. That seems to be the explanation. He's been making nests for months.

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  6. beautiful photographs. I wonder if you know - are there swans in october in the pond?

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    1. Thank you. The Mute Swans are here all the year round.

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