Saturday 26 November 2022

Swans reunited

The Mute Swans in the Italian Garden are back together after the male's flirtation with the widow on the lake. Perhaps she tired of his advances and chased him out: she is unusually big and strong for a female and more than a match for him.

This is good for the pair, but not for the teenager who was there too. The male chased it into the loggia.

Later it managed to get out, but still stayed on the lawn and didn't want to go into an unoccupied pool because the pair were in the next one.

In the Flower Walk, the corkscrew hazel was occupied by a Robin in a militant mood ...

... and the other small birds were at a safe distance on the other side of the path in a viburnum bush which has blossomed unseasonably: a Blue Tit ...

... a Coal Tit ...

... and a pair of Chaffinches, which took pine nuts off the ground.

A Jackdaw in the Rose Garden perched on the pergola to demand a peanut.

At Peter Pan a young Cormorant was drying its wings ...

... and the handsome bronze and white Feral Pigeon was trotting around.

At the Dell restaurant, a third-winter Lesser Black-Backed Gull was finishing off one of the pigeon-eater's victims. These big gulls take four years to reach a completely adult appearance and can then live to over 30.

A pair of Moorhens at the east end of the Serpentine washed and preened. The second shot shows the weir where the lake flows out. The Moorhens nest in the chamber under the weir. They are such good climbers that even chicks can get up to the lake.

The Winter Wasteland: violent amusements, inexplicable purchases.

Amid the din and the Saturday crowds, the Black-Headed Gull EZ73323 remained imperturbably on its favourite post.


  1. EZ73323 looks like it would gladly shake its head at human foolishness. No offence to people who like that sort of thing, but anything beyond a Ferris wheel seems to me unnecessary.

    We are back to swan soap opera, always highly entertaining.

    1. I would not go near any of those fairground rides for love or money. I absolutely fail to see the enjoyment.

      The dominant female swan was nowhere to be seen. I guess that she was cruising around the Serpentine pointlessly attacking other swans. She is miserable and angry, but at least she is not pining to death as some bereaved swans do.

    2. I find that anger is much better than depression for survival. Depression makes one lash inwards, anger does so outwards. I do hope the widow continues to be angry.

    3. She's young and may find another mate, but she'll never be top swan again and will have to struggle for a nest site on the crowded lake.