Monday, 13 June 2016

Youngsters

At this time of year, it's always good to find fledgling birds around the countryside. In the past few years, the Mute Swans around these parts seem t have had little or no success in raising their young. Even if they have managed to get them to hatching, the young all seem to have been wiped out within a few days through a combination of natural predation and the effects of scum-bags and their bull terriers. So it was wonderful to see these four little cygnets being looked after by their mother on the lake at Straw's Bridge the other day.
There was also a very bad-tempered male swan swimming about clearing the area of other birds which go too close. We assumed he was the cygnets' father. Either way, these little sweethearts were getting some close protection.
 Hauling out of the water, both the adult and the youngsters had a 'tide line' of algae around them.
Soon, they were back in the water and investigating the reeds growing nearby in the constant search for food.
Near the swans, a family of Mallard ducks was seen dabbling about in the flooded area under the bridge.
As with the swan, the mother was being very vigilant in looking after her brood and in this case she had a more difficult job as she had no fewer than eight youngsters to care for.
Judging by their size, she has been a brilliant parent in getting them almost to adulthood. Great to see and long may they last.
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