The Mute Swans nesting next to the Diana landing stage now have three eggs. The female left the nest to have a feed. Usually when swans do this they carefully cover the eggs with nesting material, but she didn't bother. A Coot arrived, turned over the eggs as if they were its own, and sat on them. I have never seen this before.
A few minutes later the swan came back, and the Coot abandoned its dream and left hastily.
(Sorry, in my haste I accidentally swapped the first two pictures. Fixed now.)
Elsewhere Coots are nesting in the usual silly places. This is the line of posts across the Long Water at Peter Pan, much used by Herring Gulls which regard Coot chicks as a delicious snack.
This Coot found a bright orange buoy at the Lido irresistible, and started building on the rope.
Coots have nested in both these places before, and of course all their chicks were instantly eaten. There are many suitable nest sites sheltered under bushes, but Coots don't really plan in advance.
Nevertheless, the population of Coots continues to rise, and there are over 200 in the park. Egyptian Geese nest safely in tree holes and usually look after their young quite well, and their numbers, after an initial steep rise to about 110 since they arrived in the park twelve years ago, have fallen to perhaps 70.
The family at the Lido were staying safe near the concrete jetty, which the goslings can hide under when a gull approaches.
Blondie's family have become hyperactive, charging back and forth along the shore, and she had to constantly trot after them.
The family at the Round Pond came out of the water after being scared in by an idiot's dog.
A Great Crested Grebe objected to a young Herring Gull flying too close.
The pair at the east end of the Serpentine have been obsessively trying to build a nest in a ridiculous place on the edge of one of the rafts. Their very modest nest building skill is not enough to stop it from coming unstuck and floating away.
The pair of Mistle Thrushes between the Dell and the Rose Garden are certainly nesting. This one had caught worms in various places and dropped them in a heap for later collection. When it had gathered them up it flew to a tall plane tree on the edge of Rotten Row.
A pair of Mandarins perched on a plane tree next to the Little Owls' tree near the Albert Memorial. They nested in a hole in this tree last year, and led their ducklings to the Round Pond, where they didn't survive long on the open water. When they hatch this year, perhaps someone will find them and herd them to the Long Water, where they have a better chance.
The owl looked down from the usual hole.
A Blue Tit delicately picked pieces out of a pine nut.
Rose-Ringed Parakeets were eating laurel flowers, which I would have thought were as poisonous as the rest of the tree. I have also seen them eating yew leaves, which are certainly toxic. They must have a remarkable resistance to plant poisons, evolved in their original home in India.
Goldcrests were singing all over the park, but none would come into view to be photographed. Eventually I got one in Craven Hill Gardens, a hundred yards north of Kensington Gardens.