The resident wildlife.

By Andy Gilbert

For those who haven't been there, Drove Park, sandwiched in between Sainsburys, the Brewers Fare and the Industrial Estate, can be a small oasis of calm. As well as a good collection of ducks and moorhens, there is a resident pair of swans. Last year they produced a pair of fine cygnets but alas both were taken by foxes.

Here's a photo from last April, showing mum, dad and the two cygnets, and a couple of photos from 30/3/08, with mum back on the nest and dad looking rather splendid.

Udated: May 10th 2008.

The last couple of days has seen Drove Park like a maternity ward! We've had ducklings, moorhen chicks and, after a long wait, some cygnets. Not sure how many, as they're still on the nest, but looks like two or three.

Updated: May 11th 2008.

Make that a fantastic SIX cygnets, out for their first swim with a very proud and protective Mum and Dad this morning. Let's hope that some survive this year.

Updated: May 20th 2008.

Drama at the pond!! The swans were there on Sunday 18th, but when I went back down the following day, they were nowhere to be seen. I feared the worst, that maybe they had been stolen, or taken by the local foxes. However, after some detective work, they were found in a rather mucky ditch near Sainsbury's. Something must have frightened them away from the main pond. Sussex Wildlife and Rescue Service (WRAS) have been to check them over and they are all OK. WRAS will be returning to clear the ditch of some of its litter to make the swans more comfortable. Hopefully it won't be too long before they return to the main pond so we can admire them once more.

Updated: 1st June 2008

Well, the swans moved back at the start of the week after their adventure, and have happily settled down on the main pond. Dad swan is as protective as ever, shooing away any ducks that get too close. The cyngets are growing fast and learning well from their parents, diving for food and preening themselves on the bank in the sunshine. The ten ducklings have become almost too trusting of people and will come right up to you, hoping for food. If you can't see mum and ducklings, look at the swans' nest in eth smaller pond, as they seem to have adopted it for themselves. A new male and female duck pair has recently arrived, with the male being a bit of a bully to the other ducks. He's not so bold with the swans, though! Who knows, maybe we'll have some more ducklings before too long.

Photo:Swans and cygnets, April 2007

Swans and cygnets, April 2007

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Mum swan on the nest, 30/3/08

Mum swan on the nest, 30/3/08

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Dad swan, 30/3/08

Dad swan, 30/3/08

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Lots of ducklings - quack!

Lots of ducklings - quack!

Andy Gilbert

Photo:One of the moorhen chicks.

One of the moorhen chicks.

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Mum, Dad and a cygnet.

Mum, Dad and a cygnet.

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Mum, Dad and six cygnets

Mum, Dad and six cygnets

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Shepherding them back to the nest

Shepherding them back to the nest

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Dad 'honked' at this point - encouragement to come out of the water?

Dad 'honked' at this point - encouragement to come out of the water?

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Sunday 18th May - just before they 'moved home'

Sunday 18th May - just before they 'moved home'

Andy Gilbert

Photo:The swans in their temporary home - in the ditch next to Brewers Fare!.

The swans in their temporary home - in the ditch next to Brewers Fare!.

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Back on the main pond

Back on the main pond

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Learning how to dive for food.

Learning how to dive for food.

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Preening in the sunshine.

Preening in the sunshine.

Andy Gilbert

Photo:The ducklings come right up to your feet!

The ducklings come right up to your feet!

Andy Gilbert

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 31/03/2008.

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