Tuesday 5 May 2015

The crowd of Mute Swans on the reed raft at the east end of the Serpentine has thinned down to a single couple, and today the female had laid an egg. They had better get going and make a proper nest and be ready to defend it.  But possession is nine-tenths of the law, and they have a good chance of succeeding.

The next reed raft has a Moorhens' nest in an attractive patch of flowers. Here one of the birds is just about to jump down into it.

The Moorhens on the post near the bridge are holding on to their strangely sited nest and the eggs are still intact, although the female didn't stand up for long enough to let me count them. Here mate was bringing her leaves and twigs, which she tried to arrange in the cramped space but mostly dropped them so that he had to fetch them again. They were still at it when I went past them two hours later.

The strong wind added to the discomfort of the Coot nesting on the fountain. Not only was she getting constantly soaked but her feathers were being blown all over the place.

The pair trying to build a nest on the post near Peter Pan cooperated in fetching a large twig that had been blown off a tree. Although the Long Water, surrounded by trees, is always much calmer than the Serpentine, their nest later disintegrated. When I passed them later they were rebuilding it. You have to admire their persistence.

On the wave-lashed shore of the Round Pond, a drenched Starling was running around collecting bugs for its nestlings.

In spite of the wind, the male Little Owl came out on a branch of his chestnut tree.

The male Tawny Owl has a much more sheltered position, but even so he seemed restless and was shifting about.


  1. As I was crossing the bridge yesterday a crashing pedalo frightened the moorhen off the nest and I counted three eggs. I also saw a large young gull devouring a pigeon near the Dell and asked a passer-by to take a picture to forward to you. The picture turned out to be rather poor but I sent it anyway to your austenb ... address, and then saw on your blog the picture of the Great Black Backed which looked just like the pigeon eater. I wasn't there to see the kill so I don't know if it stole the resident's pigeon or caught it itself.

  2. Thanks. Difficult to see what's going on in the picture, but it's not unusual for young gulls to pick up the carcases of pigeons killed by the notorious Lesser Black-Backed Gull and finish off the scraps. Maybe the feathers on the uneaten wings are keeping it afloat.