More activity on the ponds

By Andy Gilbert

With June half gone and Summer nearly upon us, I thought I'd bring you up to date with the progress of the local bird population. There is a mix of good and not so good news.

Firstly, the ten ducklings hatched earlier in the year are still all present and correct and still pretty much staying with Mum. However, they have grown so much that they are almost as big as she is, and aren't at all afraid to shoo away some of the adult ducks that get too close. They are incredibly tame, probably too tame in fact. No doubt due to the fact that they get fed so regularly.

The few moorhen chicks are also still there, and just as shy, preferring to hide away in the reeds, but they too appreciate that visitors will feed them!

The swans are settled back in the main pond after their excursion into the drainage ditch but I'm sorry to say that two of the cygnets have been lost, presumably to local foxes. They're perfectly safe on the water, but defenceless and very slow when on land. Even the usually aggressive male swan would not be quick enough to stop a determined fox.

Anyway, the four remaining cygnets are doing well and are much more swan-like now. They don't mind mixing it with the ducks and even the parents aren't so worried now that their offspring can take care of themselves on the water.

I'll update this page with more photos in due course.

Udate: Wednesday 18th June.

Sad to report that as of yesterday, there are only three cygnets remaining.

Update: Sunday 20th July.

Well, another month has gone by and we're now down to just two cygnets. The better news is that these two are now growing into swans, and are already well over half the size of their mother. They haven't lost the grey down yet, but their wings are developing and there has been some serious flapping practice!

Some more moorhen chicks have been hatched, and it's been fun watching the swans chase the ducks and the ducks chase the moorhens. I'm not sure who the moorhens chase, maybe the frogs!

Photo:The swans and cygnets.

The swans and cygnets.

All Photos: Andy Gilbert

Photo:Coming ashore.

Coming ashore.

Photo:Everyone say "Aah!"

Everyone say "Aah!"

Photo:It can get quite crowded here.

It can get quite crowded here.

Photo:These ducks will come right up to you.

These ducks will come right up to you.

Photo:This is the 'new' pair, with a very protective male.

This is the 'new' pair, with a very protective male.

Photo:Swans and Cygnets feeding

Swans and Cygnets feeding

Andy Gilbert

Photo:Swans and one of the cygnets

Swans and one of the cygnets

Andy Gilbert

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 15/06/2008.
Comments about this page

Really lovely photos

By Mary Meadows
On 15/05/2014

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