Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A second Mute Swans' nest has appeared in the reed bed in front of the Diana memorial. The first nest has already been raided by a fox and has been restarted, and now there are two. Not much was going on in the nest when I passed, but in front of it a Great Crested Grebe was stretching its wings in the slow, lazy way of grebes.

It is not clear how the swans got to this place, since the netting in front of them is intact. Probably they ducked under the net at the east end of the reed bed. Sadly the net, which is intended to keep water birds from eating the reeds (and doesn't keep them out) extends only over the water side of the reed bed, and a fox can get in at the back by jumping over a low railing.

Another recovery from a raid: the Coots nesting in the reeds at the north end of the Italian Garden, next to the swans' nest, have lost their eggs too, probably to the Grey Heron that patrols this area. So they have re-established themselves under the willow tree on the other side of the water, where the water is too deep for a heron.

The Coots nesting in the Italian Garden pond have also lost their eggs to the Grey Heron. So far they have not tried to nest again.

On the new floating reed beds at the east end of the Serpentine, a pair of Moorhens seem to be getting ready to nest in a patch of reeds. The revolving bird scarers and the glittery silver tape on the rafts has completely failed to deter them, as you would expect. They were eating each other's parasites, an act which, in the severely practical world of a Moorhen, passes for courtship.

Beside the Long Water, the pair of Mallards in the bushes near Rudolf Steiner's bench are still wandering around vaguely, looking as if they were about to nest but not actually doing so.

The bushes here are thick, tangled and full of brambles. They might even keep a fox out.

No signs of progress so far with the Tawny Owls. The male was in much the same place as yesterday, overlooking the nest. When I went by he was peacefully asleep.

The female Little Owl appeared for a moment this morning in the usual chestnut tree, but after that was lurking inside the hole whenever I passed.

The familiar male Chaffinch followed me all the way from the leaf yard to the Tawny Owls' tree and back again, calling loudly for food.

No comments:

Post a Comment