Tuesday 29 May 2018

The dominant pair of Mute Swans on the Long Water have moved their four cygnets up to the gravel strip at the Vista ...

... forcing other swans to the far end. Probably these will soon be chased back under the bridge and the family will have the whole area to themselves.

The older of the two swan families on the Serpentine fed in the shelter of the pedalos at the platform of Bluebird Boats.

The little strip of water between the boat platform and the shore is a quiet place to take a family. But the Egyptian Geese have got as close to the swans as they can without being chased away.

Various goose families can be seen all along the south side of the Serpentine. The Canadas with 15 goslings are in the foreground.

One of the Bar-Headed Geese from St James's Park paid a visit to the Serpentine.

The Mandarin drakes on the Long Water are now well into eclipse, and will look sad and tatty for the rest of the year.

The Great Crested Grebes at the island have not restarted nesting yet, and are still looking after their chicks carefully. Last year this pair abandoned a teenager to make another nest, but it was just old enough to survive on its own. These two are still too young to feed themselves.

The Coots nesting at the outflow of the Serpentine seem to have lost all their five chicks already, swept over the weir. But the grebe here is one of a pair that have never managed to nest at all.

This Coot on the Long Water is also one of a pair that have lost all their chicks. But, undaunted, it is building a new nest.

The Coots under the balcony of the Dell restaurant are still doing well.

The doings of the Grey Herons on the island remain a mystery. I think this pair on the boathouse roof are the ones who nested twice and failed both times. In the other nest, I heard the sound of a chick begging three days ago, so there is still hope.

There are two singing male Reed Warblers in the reed bed below the Diana fountain, and possibly a third one on the other side of the bridge, where I got a glimpse of two flying together. They are almost impossible to capture on video, but you can just see one between the stems here.

The Little Owl at the leaf yard was in his usual tree.

The rabbits at the Henry Moore sculpture were almost wiped out by myxomatosis and foxes last year, but somehow a few have survived. This is the first one I've seen this year.


  1. Let's hope the Grebes won't abandon their two chicks. That'd be cruel.

    Coots keep on cooting, undeterred by such catastrophes as losing an entire nest's worth of chicks. I don't know if there is a lesson in that.

    1. There may not be a lesson, but at least there's a song.

      Keep on cootin',
      Cootin' on down the line, hey hey hey!
      I said keep on cootin',
      Cootin' my blues away.

    2. Oh Lord, I can almost hear the music in my head. So well done!