Wednesday 16 February 2022

Mute Swan faceoff

A Pied Wagtail ran around on the roof of the Serpentine Gallery, looking for insects lurking in the joints of the slates.

Several more were hunting on the Parade Ground. There are many acres of bare ruined earth for them to explore.

There are still a few Redwings here, mostly distant under a clump of trees ...

... but occasionally venturing down the slope.

Four Robins sang in the Rose Garden. Here are two rivals, or possibly still estranged mates, only a few feet apart.

The resident male Blackbird was in his usual place on the south side of the Dell.

The Long-Tailed Tits were flying in and out of the bush where they are building a nest.

There is another nest in a patch of brambles at the southwest corner of the bridge.

The tatty Blue Tit was flying around in the Flower Walk. It seems strong and active in spite of its appearance.

A picture by Neil of a Great Tit taking a pine nut from my hand.

A Wood Pigeon was taking its name seriously.

The young Czech Black-Headed Gull ET05.589 was at the Triangle car park.

On a windy day, the Grey Heron in the nest sheltered a chick behind its body. The other chick was huddled down in the nest. Other herons came down and stood around the island.

A heron preened on a fallen tree in the Long Water.

The dominant pair of Mute Swans which have occupied the Long Water for years really hate there being another pair in the Italian Garden, and these faceoffs through the balustrade are a daily occurrence. No one gets hurt as long as they stay on their side of the wall.

The female on the Italian side wisely ignored her mate's antics and stayed in the fountain pool.


  1. I am reminded of Lucretius's portrayal of Venus as a cosmic civilizatory power when I consider how those little killing machines Robins inch increasingly closer together when spring comes without wishing to murder one another.

    It makes me nervous to see the swan stick its head through the balustrade so.

    1. One aspect of Venus, the other being Vénus toute entière à sa proie attachée.

      The upper swan is perfectly safe. The gaps in the balustrade are wide, and it's too high for the swan below to reach without an awkward lunge followed by a painful crash.

  2. Still enjoying the Redwings-probably just a few weeks from departure now.

    Really hoping those Heron nests with their young can stand up for the strong winds of Storm Eunice tomorrow, with predictions it being the strongest winds for about thirty years.

    1. I've never seen any of the heron nests on the Serpentine island blown down yet, though a few years ago an enormous nest got too heavy and broke the branches it was built on.

      The Royal Parks will be closed tomorrow, so I shall have to go elsewhere for pictures.