Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mute Swans: Valentines Park

Mute Swans have regularly nested on the Boating Lake in Ilford's Valentines Park (see this link), so I was pleased to see their nest on the island there- a safer place than last year when they were positioned on the lakeside bank.

Here is my first sighting of them about two weeks ago, in their nest under the Willow tree- a Mallard family are snoozing on the bank in the foreground:

and now the Pen and the Cob swap places,for sitting on the eggs:

On May 21st I was delighted to see that at least four of the eggs were hatched, while the Pen was still sitting on the remaining eggs:

Two days later, eight eggs were hatched and the whole delightful family were off for a swim (there seems to be one egg left that has not hatched):

Although only two days old, already the Cygnets are copying their parents, diving for food:

And now I'm just going to be self-indulgent as my heart completely melts when I see fluffy nestlings!:

Now their mother decides it is time to return to their island nest- one cygnet tried to cadge a lift on her back but was shaken off when she climbed out of the water! They are gathered together before following her up the bank:

Today when they returned from their swim to the island they copied their mother "preening" themselves- before dozing off in the sunshine...

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