Sunday 3 April 2016

The dominant Mute Swans on the Long Water were on their little island, looking as if they are now settling down to nest properly.

There are a lot of other swans on the lake, in spite of the male's periodic clear-outs. He was swimming with one foot again, and it looks as if the injury to his leg is hurting him, though the scar is not swollen or infected-looking. Maybe he has overdone the chasing.

A swan on the other side of the bridge was pecking tentatively at a discarded Nowruz plant clump, but abandoned it.

I have also seen a Moorhen trying to eat it and giving up,. Whatever it is it can't be very palatable, as Moorhens will eat almost anything.

The Great Crested Grebes near the bridge were finding a better use for it, collecting large amounts to build up their nest.

The Black Swan was also busy nesting on one of the reed rafts at the far end of the Serpentine.

These rafts, which have lasted well for a couple of years in spite of constantly being dragged around by the wind, are now in danger of being destroyed by swans, which have trampled down their surrounding fences and are gradually trashing the plants with their nest-building activity.

The baskets of plants around the island, though unimpressive as displays of water plants, were fixed down better and have only come adrift once. The gaps between them stay the same width, allowing Coots to build well sheltered nests in them.

There were a great many Herring Gulls on the Serpentine, perhaps as many as 100, most of them in their first two years. The breeding colony at Paddington doesn't explain all these. This one, near the island, had a plastic ring from the North Thames Gull Group, and I have reported it to them. It may be interesting to see where it comes from.

Another nest, this time made by a Magpie in a horse chestnut tree near the Round Pond.

These large constructions of twigs are as big as a Grey Heron's nest, and very durable. Last year the visiting Hobbies reused a Magpie nest for their own brood.

A pair of Green Woodpeckers were looking for a nest hole in a plane tree near the Physical Energy statue.

These trees are also popular with Rose-Ringed Parakeets, and one year a pair of Mandarins nested here.

There were plenty of Chiffchaffs to be heard. This one is a female, as her mate was singing at the top of the same tree.

The Little Owl near the Albert Memorial was taking life easy.

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