Friday, 9 April 2021

A Mute Swan nesting at the east end of the Lido laid an egg, settled down and preened for a while, and then turned round to inspect her new creation, the fourth.

The bars in the video are those of barriers put up by Hugh Smith the Wildlife Officer to protect the nest from dogs and, with luck, foxes. He has also cut a hole in the netting so she can get on to the nest from the lake side.

Two other swan nests on the Serpentine have also been given barriers, and even some straw to make the nest more comfortable. This is the one beside one of the small boathouses.

These swans are nesting in a hopeless place next to the busy Lido restaurant terrace, but Hugh has done his best for them.

There are three eggs, probably with more to come.

No further losses in the three Egyptian families. One of the blond goslings on the Serpentine was eating algae at the edge. The young birds' diet also includes water creatures and insect larvae, as they need extra protein for growth.

The family with eight were at the boathouses ...

... and the four at the Henry Moore sculpture were at the far side of the enclosure.

Three Mallard drakes in the Dell were in a hurry, as there was food to be had.

Two Grey Heron chicks in their nest stared at a Wood Pigeon.

The Mistle Thrushes at the Round Pond are surrounded by Carrion Crows and Magpies and there is constant angry rattling, but they are managing to feed their chicks.

A Pied Wagtail caught a small insect on the shore of the Serpentine.

Blackcaps were singing all around the Long Water.

So was a Robin near the bridge, trying to make itself heard above the noise of a helicopter.

Neil got a picture of a Long-Tailed Tit near the Serpentine Gallery. It was with a group of Long-Tailed and Great Tits in a lime tree, waiting for some crows to go away so that they could fly down and collect spider webs and moss for their nests.

We thought there were three terrapins on the Long Water, but a fourth has appeared in this picture, in the water under the branch where two are basking. They are all Yellow-Bellied Sliders.


  1. Spectacular video of the swan laying an egg. It's a wonder that female birds survive the process and don't suffer egg-binding more often.

    Hugh is such a kind and conscientious officer. All that can be done humanly for the swans, it has been done.

    1. The female swan seemed remarkably unconcerned and silent. No wonder they call them Mute Swans. Think of the racket a hen would have made.