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.
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......
"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!
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!
3 hours ago