Sunday, 16 May 2021

The Mute Swans on the little island in the Long Water have hatched five cygnets from yesterday evening to this morning. They are already out on the water.

The swans nesting in the reeds east of the Lido have hatched four cygnets so far, but there are two eggs to go.

The male, having no part in the proceedings, guarded the nest on the water side.

A Magpie looked down on the scene from a stem. I bribed it with a peanut to go away and leave them in peace.

While I was filming the swans, a Mallard and a Coot had a faceoff. It's not surprising that the aggressive Coot won this staring match.

Coots were fighting on the Long Water.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes have stolen a Coot nest under the willow near the bridge. So far there is no sign that the Coots are trying to take it back.

The swans' nest at the boathouse was started much later, but there are now two eggs.

The eight young Egyptian Geese are now quite large.

The Mallard's four ducklings are more than half grown and look like small versions of their mother.

A pair of Mallards enjoyed surfing down the rapids in the Diana fountain.

I hadn't seen the Grey Wagtail family for two days, and thought they had moved out. There was a Pied Wagtail in their hunting ground at the Lido restaurant yesterday.

But today the young Greys were back in their usual place. They are flying quite far afield now.

There was a sound of fury in a tree near the Italian Garden and a Jay flew out in a hurry. I looked in the tree to see what had driven it out, and there was a Song Thrush perched on a twig and looking pleased with itself.

The Long-Tailed Tits near the Henry Moore sculpture were busy bringing insects to their nest.

A Wood Pigeon ate daisies in the Diana fountain enclosure.

I thought this butterfly near the Italian Garden was a Small White when I was photographing it, but it turns out to be a female Orange Tip. The females have black tips to their wings rather than orange.


  1. Song Thrush always punch way above their weight. Plucky birds.

    The Coot was clearly trying to provoke the Mallard to fight, but the Mallard wisely chose the better part of valour.

    Look at all the wee tiny fluffy grey cygnets! Whoever came up with the name "ugly duckling" ought to have his head examined.

    1. It was Hans Christian Andersen who wrote the story of 'The Ugly Duckling', and I remain amazed at the poverty of his power of observation.