Sunday, 13 May 2012
There are now five Mute Swans' nests, all on the Serpentine: three on the island (not counting an earlier one that failed), one near the Lido, and one near the outflow. This has resulted in a great deal of fighting.
The loser of one fight was driven off the Serpentine, through the tunnel under the bridge, and into a shrubbery in Kensington Gardens, where it was stuck, unable to return through the tunnel because of the Sunday crowds of people. A kind woman took pity on it, rang Malcolm the Royal Parks Wildlife Officer, and stayed with the stranded bird to keep away the dogs. Malcolm arrived, efficiently inserted the swan into a kind of straitjacket, and took it away in his Land-Rover to release it in a safe place.
If the pair of swans on the Long Water manages to settle, it will bring the number of nests up to six, and it will be total war.
A pair of Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine has a new brood of eight. One of the teenage Egyptian Geese from an earlier brood was swimming under water quite efficiently, browsing on algae at the edge of the concrete margin of the lake.
The Starlings' nests in the plane trees near the small boathouses were busy. Here is a young bird looking out,
and a parent bringing it a tasty caterpillar.
Update: Elizabeth just sent me a slide show of a stroll in the park. I particularly like the picture of the Mute Swan threatening the pedalo.