West End is a small residential area of Esher and also the northern most tip of Esher Commons. It boasts a large green with a pond and cricket green; the cricket club and a church. A very pretty area and close to a garden centre. It was there that I was headed this morning with no thought of taking any pictures. Just had the compact in the boot as usual.
My attention was caught by balloons hanging on the fence that was guarding a Mute Swans' nest. I quickly grabbed the camera and took a few pics.
Not satisfied with this I came back later with my dSLR.
Several people came and went to look at the cygnets. Someone commented that last Monday (26 May) there were five broken/smashed eggs on the main bank and attributed this to the badger or foxes. On that day, it is alleged, the water between the island and main bank hadn't much water so consequently animals could have crossed to the nest.
Whilst I was there, on both occasions, several people (many of whom were residents) came to admire the new cygnets - born yesterday. It was obvious from the comments that the Swan family's progress has been closely monitored and observed with mounting excitement.
I believe the residents of West End who have taken so much trouble and care in ensuring the safety of these birds, deserve a round of applause - well done to everyone involved.
I'll let the pictures tell the tale:
A view across Prince of Wales Pond
A Birth Announcement
The Council had erected this notice; it is so sad to think
that it's even necessary!
Site of the nest with Mum & Dad in attendance
You can see the Birthday Balloons
Keeping close to Mum
"Mum - can I go and play with the others please?"
Time for a swim
Regrettably, despite the announcement of five births,
there were only four cygnets today. One of the cygnets
is noticeably smaller than his/her siblings.
"Ooh, I'm having my picture taken, and I'm only 1 day old!"
Mum was being very protective and keeping an eye on her youngsters
Back to the nest now
Where we all had a preen and some attention from Mum
(Unfortunately, one egg hasn't hatched)
then it was time for a snuggle
while Mum had a few preening moments by herself
How are you all doing under there little ones?
And finally, Dad remained aloof and to one side whilst he
had a preen.