Our gorgeous newly resident swan finally hatched her cygnets last weekend and all eight of them are doing brilliantly well. Sadly she lost her partner a few weeks ago, so as a single mother will have her work cut out for her looking after her family. This morning she was proudly swimming alongside them whilst they dabbled and fed in the shade of the willow tree. Mink, polecats and stoats are the more serious of the dangers they face.
It has been a number of years since swans have nested on the moat, although in all the historical photos there are swans nesting on the small island in the centre.
Swans are the largest members of the waterfowl family Anatidae, and are among the largest flying birds. Here at Brinsop Court we also have newly hatched families of moorhens, ducks, and exotic visitors the tufted ducks and little grebe also known as dabchicks. Fortunately no geese have made their home here because they make a terrible mess!
Some of the mothers cope admirably and keep all their babies up tight together but there have been one or two lately that have no control over their offspring at all and have a much higher mortality rate – it all seems to be in the parenting! It is fascinating to watch. If they can get through the first three days then they get faster and more savvy themselves.
But back to swans they really are such a romantic bird aren’t they!