Thursday 29 March 2018

There were a lot of swans on the Serpentine today, which had flown down from the Round Pond to see if there was any chance of finding a nest site. The lake has few suitable sites and the Round Pond none, so there is a lot of comeptition and fighting.

A pair on the Serpentine had just mated, and were performing their beautiful post-mating display.

On the Long Water, the swans had broken down a post holding up netting around a reed bed and got into it.

The patch of open water in the reed bed is not the result of destruction by swans. The reeds were planted on an unsuitable base and large areas of them died almost at once.

This is the post that the swans knocked over. It shows how strong they are.

Farther along the same reed bed, a pair of swans had torn the netting off the posts and trampled it underwater, and were making a nest in the reeds.

A Moorhen was making a nest on a rock in the stream in the Dell.

At the bridge, the pair of Great Crested Grebes had temporarily occupied the Coots' nest, while the Coots sulked angrily under the arch. The Coots will get it back, of course.

Two Coots enjoyed a fight on the Serpentine.

Now that all the smaller gulls have left, the posts at Peter Pan present an almost unbroken vista of Herring Gulls, all of them young ones probably from the colony in Paddington. There are just two adult Lesser Black-Backs.

A Jackdaw digging for worms in the Flower Walk brought up a conker, which it discarded. These contain a poisonous substance, aescin, and only a few creatures such as deer, wild boar and grey squirrels can eat them.

The male Chaffinch of the pair in the Rose Garden uttered his single-note 'rain song', quite different from his usual song. It had just been raining, but it's doubtful that this song is a response to rain. In this case I think it meant 'Hurry up and fill the feeder.'

The Robins beside the Long Water don't need to sing to get fed. They just come out and look appealingly at you.

So does the white-faced Blackbird.

A dry spell brought a few people out on to the terrace of the Dell restaurant. The Starlings saw their chance and lined up on the railings to raid the tables.

There were no Little Owls to be seen. A Stock Dove cheekily perched in the female owl's favourite spot on the branch of the oak near the Albert Memorial.


  1. I really didn't have a realistic notion of just how strong Swans are until I saw today's pictures. They are an unstoppable force if they put their minds to anything.

    That reminds of of other avian unstoppable forces of nature.

    Who can resist the appeal of a Robin? Not I, that is for sure.

    1. Thanks for the wonderful clip. I couldn't see where the soldiers were from, but all nations yield to the dreaded International Canadian Conspiracy.