Sunday 17 June 2012

The Coots have had mixed fortunes in their breeding season. The pair who nested in the Italian Garden and lost their brood to a gull have now abandoned their nest and were nowhere to be seen. The pair from the netting near the Lido have kept their brood of three, thanks to having chosen a very well protected place. And the pair who eccentrically nested on a bottle crate under the terrace of the Dell restaurant have hatched at least one chick, whose little red head can be seen in this distant shot in the middle of the sunlit side of the nest.

The male Mandarins on the Long Water, so fine a month ago, are now going into eclipse and look sadly tatty. But they will be glorious again.

The male Willow Warbler was singing again from the back of the Lido, though he was impossible to see. There is certainly a nest somehere here.

The bottom of the lake is now a continuous carpet of algae. When the sun shines and warms the shallow water, photosynthesis speeds up and little bubbles of oxygen form on the underside of the strands. After a while they grow large and numerous enough to raise the strands to the surface.

This is why algal blooms seem to appear so quickly in sunny weather. The algae have been there all the time, but now they become visible.

Heaven knows what state the lake will be in by August. Perhaps they could replace the Olympic swimming events with a bog snorkelling race.

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