Monday, 14 May 2012
The Mute Swans in the nest near the Lido are hatching their eggs. They were in the middle of it when I went past, with four cygnets out and two to come. Here the mother looks down anxiously as the fourth emerges from his egg
and, only seconds old, greets one of his elder siblings.
It was a drizzly day and the insects were flying low over the lake. The Swifts were back in large numbers to feast on them, joined by a couple of dozen Swallows and a few House Martins. There were also two Grey Wagtails and maybe six Pied Wagtails -- hard to tell, because the same bird can reappear several times as you go round the lake. One was feeding a young bird, still in juvenile grey plumage.
Earlier this morning, Paul visited the Tawny Owls' trees and saw all five owlets in the second horse chestnut tree from the north. When I went there later I could only find three.
There were five male Mandarins on the Long Water, and two Goldcrests singing in the Flower Walk. A pair of Mistle Thrushes nesting between the Albert Memorial and the Serpentine Gallery can often be seen on the grass in this area. I have seen them furiously attacking a Magpie that had tried to invade their nest. They have bred successfully before in this place.