Thursday, 28 July 2011

Swanwatch (5)

Long time readers of this blog may have been wondering what has happened to the swan family since May. Since the family hatched and left the nest they've been very difficult to track down. My brother saw them while fishing on the river but they don't appear to have returned to the millpond at all during this period. It is normal for them to retreat to quieter stretches of water till the young increase in size but you can usually find them if you try. A couple of weeks ago I walked five miles up and down the river without seeing them. There are some inaccessible reaches and I guess that's where they were. But today my luck changed....

As I walked by the mill I saw the whole family. I was only just in time though; the pen (female) was leading them under the mill bridge and out of sight. I was pleased to see six cygnets have been raised (one more than last year). And don't you just love the orderly way in which they are proceeding with father at the back to guard their progress! This section of river has become rather weedy as the low water-levels have meant that the mill sluice has not been running and consequently the river is hardly flowing.

The family will stay together till at least the autumn and sometimes into the winter. But then the cob (male bird) will start to think about next year's brood and will chase the youngsters off.
Well, there are some times when you just don't want the kids around!

Take care.


  1. Ours only seem to have raised two cygnets this year. Six is a good number. They are fascinating birds, seem to be very attentive parents.

  2. What a lovely photo of that orderly procession. I have seen swans mingling with Canada Geese on a reserve area in Jackson, WY, but have never seen them with young.

  3. Lovely photograph - I like the way there is a path cut through that weed. I am sure the cygnets feel so safe travelling between their parents. Have all the ones that hatched survived? It rarely happens with ducklings but swans are a bit fiercer to contend with aren't they?

  4. What a nice picture, John. We don't have many wild swans here. But we do have turkeys and this week I saw two families of them, one with 7 poults and one with 9. It's a relief to know they've survived the predations of the coyotes.


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