Friday 3 February 2017

Fran visited Brent Reservoir (better known as the Welsh Harp, because of its shape) and photographed the Black Swan there. Her picture of its face is on the left, compared with a picture of the one on the Serpentine taken last year. I don't think it is our swan.

She said that the Brent swan 'was friendly but seemed smaller, more dishevelled'. In a comment on yesterday's blog, Jim said, 'There's also been a Black Swan upriver for many weeks, currently at Kingston.' This is a likely candidate for our swan, since he was last seen going that way, at Barn Elms.

Sad to say, the Egyptian Geese at the Henry Moore sculpture have lost all their young except one.

Paul, who had been watching them earlier, said that he thought Carrion Crows were responsible, as they had been trying to get the survivor. These are no other than our familiar Charlie and Melissa, but you can't expect crows to behave nicely no matter how many peanuts you give them.

Just up the hill, the female Little Owl was surveying the scene from the lime tree.

A pair of Long-Tailed Tits were leaping about in the next tree.

Two Magpies were bathing at the Lido.

A Robin near the bridge looked fine in the sunlight when it came out to be fed.

The Redwings were in their usual place at the bottom of the Parade Ground, though too far away for a good picture.

A Pied Wagtail came a bit nearer and caught a small bug.

A Song Thrush was also hunting on the grass. But this is another one, singing from the top of a tree in the leaf yard.

The Kingfisher was back in the dead willow by the Italian Garden.

There were more Cormorants today, at least a dozen. One jumped on to a post near the bridge with a desperate flap, and landed successfully.

A Great Crested Grebe's fine new crest was tousled by the brisk east wind.

A young Herring Gull was playing with a bit of broken tile, overgrown with algae, that it had dredged up from the bottom of the lake.


  1. Our Swan was way more handsome. I really hope the swan at Kingston is our long-lost Swan Prince.

    Nature red in tooth and claw, that is what Melissa and Charlie will say. There is the same pang of I don't know if I should call it disillusion or disappointment whenever a White Stork takes a patridge or harrier chick. Storks are so pretty and look so civilised, and then you see them have a go at tiny chicks. It is quite shocking. One is tempted to say, stick to frogs!

    Thank God there is always a cheery Robin pictur to lighten the mood.

  2. And even Robins try to kill each other. Peace is a human delusion.

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