Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mute Swan update

'The cock green-finch begins to toy, & hang about on the wing in a very peculiar manner. These gestures proceed from amorous propensities.' [Gilbert White Diaries, April 24 1777]

There were several small green birds singing on Golden Hill this morning, but my main interest today has been big white ones! I arrived at the Freshwater Causeway this evening to find this:
That's the good news. But there are two bits of potentially bad news which are obvious from the top photo. Firstly, the torrential rain yesterday has resulted in the nest almost being washed away - it was very soggy underfoot! Secondly, there was no sign of the swans. I climbed up onto the fence next to the nest and looked down the river, spotting them together a long way off in the distance.

Eventually, the male returned. The female returned later and showed no interest whatsoever in the egg, so I feared that this nesting attempt may have failed. But, a few hours later, I was reassured to find the female back on the nest as this bit of video shows:

Sadly, the relief for this inexperienced pair may be short-lived with the deluge of rain and bad weather that's forecast over the next few days.

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