Sunday, 4 December 2022

The unfaithful swan

Yesterday the male Mute Swan from the Italian Garden was with his mate in one of the pools, looking very affectionate. Today he had left his mate in the pool and was doing a nest-building display with the widowed female of the dominant pair on the Long Water on the nesting island. His jilted mate couldn't see what he was doing from her place on the upper level, and may not know how he's behaving.

While this was going on some swans intruded on the Long Water and stood on the gravel strip.

The dominant female came out and chased them off.

But whenever they leave their nesting island it promptly gets populated with Cormorants and the local Grey Heron.

The jilted female was sadly alone in the fountain pool.

To rub salt in the wound, a faithful pair of Black-Headed Gulls on the kerb displayed to each other.

A young Herring Gull on the Serpentine found a dead carp floating and started eating it.

Another threw a stick around.

A young Moorhen looked for insects in the grooves of the rubber matting on the Lido jetty.

The male Blackbird in the shrubbery at the end of the swimming area was digging a deep hole in the fallen leaves, into which he almost disappeared.

A Robin perched in a bush in the Rose Garden.

Once you start feeding Jays they follow you all over the place looking expectant.

It's the same with Magpies.

A yarrow plant beside the Long Water has burst into unseasonal flower.

I really don't understand this giant banana thing. It's are stuffed with wadding like a soft toy and quite bulky. Maybe it's given as a not greatly wanted prize on a hoop-throwing stall. Then it has to be carted home and a place found for this pointless object.


  1. Maybe it's not a prize but punishment for doing exceptionally poorly?

    I can't wrap my head around the notion of an unfaithful swan. That's not at all typical. Are there swan divorces, I wonder.

    1. The Punishment of the Giant Banana would be a mild version of the Gift of the White Elephant.

      If these are swan divorces, I think we shall see one soon.

    2. A Mute Swan on Hampstead Heath this year was seen mating with his daughter and reportedly this is not that rare or problematic. He and another there died of apparent bird flu very recently, according to the same local paper. Jim

    3. I'm less surprised by incest than I am by trying to maintain two mates at the same time.