My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Friday, 8 May 2009

A Tale of Mute Swans or the "Aw Factor"

So following my previous day's visit and discovering the protection offered by the Wildlife Officer to the nesting swans, I returned to find out how many cygnets the pair had produced.

As I started to walk around the pond, I could see the two Adult Mute Swans along on the bank. So they'd come away from their island sanctuary.

When I got there, a family of Egyptian Geese were keeping them company. The Goslings have grown considerably now.

Dad

Mum

The initial scene, and as I slowly and cautiously approached the Swan family, I managed to see three cygnets. Hmm not bad I thought.

The, a bit of wriggling and two more appeared - so that makes 5!

A couple wanted a cuddle with Mum...

and they all wanted to keep warm on this grey and damp day.


Then a dog caused Dad to very vocally and aggressively react and he hissed at the intruder who, thankfully, reacted very quickly by leaving when called off by its master.

By now Mum was also standing up to reveal......

8 Cygnets

"OK" said Mum "time we weren't here, off to the water"

"Ooh, it's cold, I want a lift please"..

and so did everyone else!

These two decided to be brave and move a little way away from Mum's guardianship

"Ooh", said this little one" - "there's an upside-down cygnet down there looking up at me!"


Eventually Dad relaxed enough to join the family who were now getting quite bold

But, we are young and get tired quickly, so time for a lift

"Ooooh - the world looks different up here"..

"Room for another one"?


Now back at "home" Mum decided she wanted a rest and waddled up the ramp anticipating her brood would follow.

But they were having difficulty negotiating the steep ramp even though Mum was offering bags of encouragement

The cygnets got to about the fourth "rung" and then fell off the side!
At which point, Mum gave in and they all headed back down into the water

Again, a lift was required

and one decided s/he HAD got a head for heights after all :D


So, with much competing to see who could climb aboard first..


the family finally headed off out into the mainstream pond.


I'd spent an enchanting time watching their antics and behaviour and hope they all do well. I shall be keeping an eye on them with the wish their parents have more success in raising their young this year, than they did last. But we won't dwell on that for the moment and just enjoy them now.

I took my last look at the family when, guess what - one of these suddenly bobbed up from down under. Only one about still, but it's good to see it again!



FOOTNOTE:
My grandson and I had a walk in Bushy after school today (you didn't know I was still at school?). The family weren't in their normal spot but had moved on some considerable distance out of the main pond, across a small causeway and were on the banks of a stream. I hope they return to the main pond overnight!

We were just leaving when this female Mallard flew over our heads - and right into the relevant focal point on my camera - pure luck!


Night night....

27 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Good luck to he little cygnets!

Roy said...

Beautiful images Tricia.

Jackie said...

Love the great blog today and the photographs. Well done, Jackie.

neil said...

great photos of cute subjects. Ive always wanted a shot of cygnets riding on their parents back, and I only have one dark blurry one, so well done on getting such excellent examples :)

mick said...

So very cute! Great photos and commentary!

Dean said...

Brilliant set of photos, Tricia.

Midmarsh John said...

Beautifully observed, photographed and told.
Did I see the ancestors of the female Mallard on the wall of someones front room in Coronation Street many years ago?

Billy said...

Great news about the Grebes, Tricia, glad to see lots of new life in the park. I haven't been there in ages, but I'll have to go and see those cygnets!

Bill

Pete said...

apparently the first mutes at abbotsbury were born and were a few weeks early

cute pics

Tricia said...

Warren - yes, good luck to them indeed!

Roy - thank you. It was a privilege to be there at the right time to take them.

Jackie - thanks for popping and your kind comments.

Neil - thank you for your generous comments. I'm sure your turn will come - it was a first for me!!

Mick - thank you ; glad you enjoyed the tale.

Dean - thanks.

John - thank for your very kind comment.

Now - it there were three of them and they were flying up the wall, then yes - this may well be the one you saw all those years ago :D

Hi Bill - it's good to know that at least one of them is still around. Don't know what happened to the other one of the pair. Only seen one on my last two visits now.

Pete, yes cute indeed! - wonder when they were born. I believe it's from late April onwards normally. Just to think of those numbers of fluffy cygnets they have down there.....very much "aw"!

holdingmoments said...

What a great post Tricia.
Lovely commentary with the Swan and Cygnet pictures. Let's hope they all do well.

swatson said...

amazing shots and arent those cygnets just adorable
Sheila

ShySongbird said...

As you said Tricia a really enchanting experience, and beautifully photographed.

Jackie said...

Hi Tricia

I am hoping we will get a chance to pop into Bushy Park over the weekend. Are there any Parakeet nests around there to look for too?

We are going to Dorset in June so hopefully we will see the cygnets at Abbotsbury, although they won't be quite so small and cute by then, will they?

Still waiting to see what is happening in our nesting box, the great tit mum and dad are certainly busy going in and out getting food.

Jackie.

Tricia said...

Hi Jackie

I've not seen any RN Parakeets nests but I've not really looked for them. Best thing is to look for holes in trees (where they nest) and also be aware if there are pairs sitting near holes in trees.

Regarding Abbotsbury. Cygnets are still hatching into June so you should be able to see "cuteness" there :D

Hope you get to see your chicks fledge.

Tricia said...

Thanks Keith. Fingers crossed for them

Sheila and Jan - thank you

SPD said...

ha ha fantastic narrating! J enjoyed his walk although swanlings seems to be the new term for cygnets at present! quite like it myself!
Lv
SPD

Lynmiranda said...

Thankyou Tricia for showing up these lovely pictures :-)

Tricia said...

Hi SPD - I like swanlings; cootlings seems to be a popular word too. Glad you like the story telling. Lv Mum!

Lynmiranda - you're welcome. Just glad you enjoyed them.

Janine said...

Awwww! Lovely shots and narrative. So cute that they have a little ramp.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Stunning post Tricia
I have never seen so many cygnets from one brood before.. I loved all your pictures and the last ones was a very nice touch...
I have had a busy week this week so it as been great stopping by this afternoon and catching up on your outings and sighting.. your Heron shots are excellent.

Have a great weekend

Little Brown Job said...

Wonderful images of the Swan family, Debbie love that last one.

Tricia said...

Janine - thank you. A ramp - just for them; a great idea wasn't it!

Hi Tom - thank you for your kind comments. Hopefully, you'll have a less busy time over the weekend - have a good one too.

Paul and Debbie - thank you for your comments. I agree with Debbie - and I think it's a "cute overload". :D

Joe said...

Hi Tricia,

Those photos are stunning and very cute. Good luck to them. I haven't seen any cygnets yet.

Tricia said...

Hi Joe - good to see you here again and thanks for your kind comments. :D Sure you'll find some cygnets before too long.

avalon said...

What a awww set of photgraphs i had a smile from ear to ear, thankyou loved your little words that went with then

Tricia said...

Avalon - thank you and I'm glad the "young ones" made you smile! They are rather cute aren't they!

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