Thursday 14 April 2016

The Mute Swans nesting on the little island in the Long Water may have eggs already. Paul Turner passed by when the swan was standing up, and thinks he saw four, but it's hard to see into the nest. When I took this picture from the Italian Garden I could see white things, but on closer examination they turned out to be feathers.

A view from the west side of the Long Water would be better, because you can see the nest from a higher angle. But the swan has to be standing up, of course.

The Black Swan and his girlfriend were also on the Long Water. They went round the back of the gravel bank, where there were some other swans in the water, and amused themselves by chasing these up on to the bank.

The Great Crested Grebes nesting near the bridge had ornamented their nest with a tasteful bit of plastic bag.

This nest will be hard to see from the bank in a couple of days, as leaves are coming out all around it.

On the shore nearby, a Blackbird was stretching her wings in the warm sunlight.

But it is still not hot enough for the full sunbathing ritual, in which they lie on the ground with wings outspread and beak open, looking as if they had crashed.

A Gadwall drake was also enjoying a stretch at the Lido ...

... while a Carrion Crow went through the litter bin. The odd background is a green plastic netting fence protecting the grassy bank, which has been re-seeded.

On the opposite shore, someone had dumped a pile of cooked spaghetti, which some Feral Pigeons were eating enthusiastically. A swan arrived, chased them away, and ate the rest of the spaghetti.

A Pied Wagtail was using a moored pedalo as a base for catching insects. Every few seconds it would leap into the air in pursuit of a passing bug.

A Dunnock was singing on the east side of the Long Water. Its song was much shorter than usual and the light was behind it, so I was unsure of what it was till I looked at the picture on the computer.

Only two Little Owls were visible today, but that is two owls more than most people see in a day. Here is one in the oak tree near the Albert Memorial ...

... and one in the lime near the Henry Moore.

Again, I think both are males guarding their nests.


  1. Wow, the Girlfriend is nearly white now, and a bit larger than her boyfriend. Will the Black Swan care, I wonder?

    1. That picture exaggerates her whiteness. as the sun was shining full on her. And she's always been much bigger than him. Even by Mute Swan standards she is a hulking lass.

  2. Hi there, my friend and I are in the area tomorrow and were hoping we could take you up on your offer (in the comments of a previous post) to show some visitors the birds of your blog. Is there any chance you are free?

    1. Please be at the south end of the Serpentine bridge at 11.30 am. You know what my face looks like -- see right column of blog. I am tall and shall be carrying a lot of camera gear.