Thursday 16 April 2020

The dominant pair of Mute Swans on the Long Water already have two eggs in their hastily rebuilt nest -- no wonder they were in such a hurry to make it. The Coots which nested at the back of the island now have chicks, and looked on resentfully as a swan stole twigs from their nest. But there was nothing they could do.

The nest is not made entirely of stolen materials. The twigs are dredged up from the ruins of the original island, and the swans add reeds collected from nearby.

One of the swans nesting beside the boathouse restlessly pulled twigs into the nest. Swans can't help constantly messing about with a perfectly well made nest. It gives them something to do during the long days of sitting. However, I doubt this nest in a dangerous place will succeed.

The Black Swan on the Round Pond, which has been lolling idly on the edge every time I've visited over the past few days, was out on the water eating algae. It doesn't seem to interact with the other swans any more. Maybe they keep away because they are afraid of it.

The two new Egyptian goslings on the Serpentine seem to have gone already. But the lone survivor battles on.

The four at the Round Pond ...

... and the two at the Vista are still in good order.

Also at the Vista, two Mandarins for the price of one.

A Great Crested Grebe on the Serpentine was in a hurry.

The alder tree near the Henry Moore sculpture is a favoured perch for the Little Owls now. It has come into leaf earlier than the lime tree, and gives them a bit of privacy.

A Carrion Crow played with a stick on the edge of the Serpentine.

A Magpie showed off its iridescent blue wings and green tail.

I hadn't seen any Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the Rose Garden for a while, but a male was back today, coming down to the feeder from his usual place on the arbutus tree.

No action was visible in the Long-Tailed Tits' nest, but one of them looked down from a branch.

A female Chaffinch collected feathers to line her nest. This is a very brief clip because a runner blundered blindly on to the scene and frightened her away.

After yesterday's mysterious insects it was a relief to be able to identify a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee on a flower which I have now been told has the splendid name of Bargeman's Turnip. There is a large patch of these at the back of the Lido where the mixed wildflowers have been in previous years, but I don't think we'll be getting those now. It's an elderly bee with tattered wings, but it was flying perfectly well.


  1. Gosh, how adorable the little round Bumblebee, still able to live and fly on its tattered wings.

    Sometimes we go so fast through life and are so engrossed by ourselves that we miss tiny daily miracles, such as a little bird picking up feathers for its nest in our own path (and where would the Grebe be rushing to?).

    When will the lone gosling be out of danger? Every passing day gives it a fighting chance.

    1. I'd say it would be a month before the lone gosling was reasonably safe from predators. There's still danger from dogs, but at least they are aware of that and can run fast.