The nest - deserted
It's too early for the cygnets to have hatched out but there was no sign of either the male or female swan from the mill bridge. Maybe they have been scared off by somebody's dog, perhaps the number of passers-by gawping at them from the bridge has frightened them away. I lingered on the bridge as long as I could but no swan returned to the eggs.
The major cause of the loss of swan broods is said to be vandalism. In recent years as many as 100 swans have been killed in this senseless way on the River Lea in London alone. It's not a new problem either there are records of swan taunting going back through the centuries. There have also been a number of cases reported recently of swans being killed "for the pot" mainly by immigrants from Eastern Europe, some of whom do not share our views on conservation and see any wild animal or bird as "fair game".
OK, I'll stop kidding you, though the above thoughts were running through my mind as I stood alone on the bridge waiting in vain for the return of the pair. Next day the swans were back at the nest site once more so I hope all is well.