Thursday 4 April 2019

A Mute Swan had been chased off the lake by another swan, and ended up on the bridge in danger from traffic. Three gardeners were trying to keep it off the roadway. They rang Paul, who has a way with swans, and he arrived quickly and picked it up and carried it down to the water.

The swans nesting next to the terrace of the Lido restaurant seem determined to stay put in this hopeless place. Last year a wicker hurdle was put up to shield them from the public gaze but the nest still failed, probably attacked by a fox in the night.

The Egyptian Goose with two goslings was shielding them from the chilly wind. One of them looked out for a few seconds before returning.

The nest on the island which was started by Great Crested Grebes and taken by Coots had a Greylag Goose on it.

But when I passed by later, the Coots had regained control.

The evicted grebes were sitting in the water with nowhere to go.

At the other end of the island, the grebes' nest precariously attached to the wire basket has at least two eggs in it.

A female Mandarin trotted along the edge of the lake looking for food.

The Grey Herons in the nest on the north side of the island are now sitting on eggs.

The young herons in the first nest were lined up in a row, looking elderly and disreputable.

A young Herring Gull played with a bit of plastic.

The female Peregrine was on the barracks.

But then there was a cry, and she took off and sped away into the distance, where it was just possible to see that she had been joined by the male.

Three Rose-Ringed Parakeets were stripping leaf buds off a tree beside the Long Water.

The familiar Blackbird near the Italian Garden came out for his daily treat of a handful of sultanas.

A Great Tit perched on a rusty spike on the railings.

Pied Wagtails like the wooden platform of Bluebird Boats, where insects lurk in the grooves. It also provides a convenient station for flying out and catching insects over the water.

Tom was at Rainham Marshes and got a good picture of a Cetti's Warbler, a very difficult bird to photograph as it's usually lurking in cover.


  1. Glad the swan saga had a happy ending.

    Wonderful photo of the 3 young Herons together!

    1. Lucky that Paul was only a couple of hundred yards away when this happened.

  2. Paul really knows his way around swans. Look how calm it is in his arms.
    I never fail to be impressed by how powerful their wingbeats are. Doubtless legends of their being able to break a man's arms are exaggeration, but I wonder if there is a kernel of truth to that.

    Poor evicted Grebes. They chose the wrong bird species to be up against.

    1. It's very useful that people believe that swans can break their arms. It keeps the people from interfering with them.

  3. Cheers to Paul, but what is wrong with that woman almost impeding his progress, for the sake of a mobile photo

    1. Yes, she was in the way. But I was running around too, taking that video.

    2. but not breathing down his neck, apparently

  4. By the way, was the other swan its mate? It appeared to be waiting for it and then they sailed off together.

    1. I don't think so. It just happened to be there when Paul unexpectedly arrived and dropped another swan in the lake.

  5. The earth-fort by the oak-wood,
    it was Bruidge’s, it was Cathal’s,
    it was Áed’s, it was Ailill’s,
    was Conaing’s and Cuilíne’s,
    and was once Maëlduine’s too:
    the fort’s still there after each
    king, each one under the ground.

    (Anonymous Irish poem of c. 1100; the fort, Rathnangan, *is still there, still by an oak-wood, in Co. Kildare.)