Saturday 13 March 2021

It was a wild day of wind, sunny periods and heavy showers, during one of which a Cormorant took the opportunity to have a wash.

The strong wind made it impossible to keep the camera still when filming these Great Crested Grebes. A tripod would simply have blown over.

On the sheltered Long Water, the Coots nesting against the post at Peter Pan have finally managed to build their nest up to a reasonable size, using large twigs blown off the trees ...

... but their efforts have been quickly surpassed by the pair building on the submerged branch of a fallen tree. It's a very untidy nest by Coot standards, but the projecting twigs may be helpful in stopping Herring Gulls from swooping down to carry off chicks.

The Red Crested Pochard was temporarily away from his Mallard mate, and was preening his fine feathers.

Two of the three young Mute Swans shared the nesting island with a Herring Gull and a Moorhen.

The Black Swan had left the Long Water, probably chased off. I took this picture during one of the few moments when it wasn't following a male Mute Swan. I think it follows different swans, but they are always male.

One of the elusive Nuthatches was visible for a moment inside a yew tree in the leaf yard. This is the male of the pair.

A pair of Goldcrests flitted around in a yew on the Serpentine side of the bridge.

The usual Jay was waiting for a peanut on the other side.

One of the Long-Tailed Tits nesting in the Rose Garden was on the ground looking for feathers.

A Blue Tit perched on a twig in the Dell.

A Pied Wagtail sprinted about in the enclosure of the Diana fountain.

The Redwings were still at the Albert Memorial. You can see a worm getting its last view of daylight.

Do worms have feelings at such moments? Wordsworth thought they might:

The beetle loves his unpretending track,
The snail the house he carries on his back;
The far-fetched worm with pleasure would disown
The bed we give him, though of softest down.

It's not clear in what sense the worm is far-fetched, possibly by being hauled out of the garden and plonked on a bed. I had doubts of the poet's certainty of these creatures' opinions, and wrote:

The beetle longs to roam the ocean waves,
The snail a grand hotel perversely craves;
One far-fetched thought pervades the worm's small head:
To lie in comfort on a feather bed.


  1. Replies
    1. Not one of Wordsworth's more inspired moments.

  2. Splendid! Poor Wordsworth, not all can be winners.
    I'd love to see more poetry improved by you!

    Can Coots be trusted to think so far ahead as to put on defensive spikes?

    1. I think the spiky twigs on this nest are there purely by accident. Suddenly the lake is full of twigs broken off the trees by several days of strong wind. Since Coots will always take available twigs and add them to their nest, this has become a hasty, messy heap. But the spikes may still have an unintended effect.