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cygnets

wildlife, gardening, environment, Rural living, Pets and Vets
scotia
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cygnets

#157820

Postby scotia » August 7th, 2018, 11:41 pm

The pair of mute swans on the loch have successfully raised 6 cygnets this year - or should I say 5 normal cygnets and one daft one. At least that's how the other fishers refer to it. While the five normal cygnets stay closely together in groups, the daft one is usually on the fringes - and seems more interested in doing anything apart from joining in with the normal feeding - quite often it detours to inspect the fishers in their boats. Since there is a strict rule, which is observed, of not feeding the waterfowl, then this curiosity is not in hope of getting a tasty piece of bread.
As well as watching the swans, the geese and the ducks this afternoon on the loch, there were also four successful fishing sorties by the ospreys. We have had a reasonable amount of rain recently, but it will need a lot more to get back to a normal level. And to echo one entry in the club log - the fishing is hard going (ospreys excluded).

scotia
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Re: cygnets

#172162

Postby scotia » October 7th, 2018, 9:28 pm

Yesterday was the last day of the Brown Trout fishing in Scotland, so my visits to the local loch will be a bit less regular until the new season opens in March. The resident pair of mute swans still occasionally parade in-line with their clutch of 6 cygnets, but now they are more often found dispersed around the loch - with the "daft" one usually the furthest from the pack. The opinion among club members is that there has never previously been such a number of cygnets successfully raised. A further adult swan appeared earlier this week, but it was repeatedly attacked by the two adult residents, and was moved on. Sometimes at this time of year an intruder is tolerated, but presumably the residents felt that more than eight was a crowd. It will be interesting to see what happens in Spring, when the two adults will build a nest and a new clutch of eggs will be laid. Although the odd cygnet sometimes lingers on, the cygnets usually leave - sometimes being forcibly removed by the adult male.

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Re: cygnets

#172171

Postby staffordian » October 7th, 2018, 10:34 pm

We have a relatively small lake near to us where a pair of swans have successfully bred each year since we moved here, about five years ago.

This year, every one of the seven cygnets have survived, which is more than I've seen in previous years, and the first year I can recall where none perished in the first few days or weeks. And strangely (or is it perhaps normal at this time of year?) I too saw an intruder being seen off without ceremony earlier this week; the first time I've witnessed it here.

On the subject of cygnets, they all seem to disappear at about the same time. I assume the parents chase them off once they get to a certain age, to leave the field clear for the following year's new arrivals. Is this what happens?

scotia
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Re: cygnets

#172190

Postby scotia » October 8th, 2018, 1:07 am

staffordian wrote: I assume the parents chase them off once they get to a certain age, to leave the field clear for the following year's new arrivals. Is this what happens?

According to the old hands on our loch, on some occasions murder has been done by the dominant male when the cygnet has been reluctant to leave. I should stress that this happened with a former pair, the male of which was notoriously bad tempered. I remember it chasing a flock of geese across the loch who were attempting to shield their goslings.

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Re: cygnets

#172243

Postby dspp » October 8th, 2018, 11:39 am

On my local Dorset river the breeding pair of swans successfully raised 7/7 cygnets this year. More frequently there is a 50% attrition rate. Clearly for them it was a good year.

scotia
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Re: cygnets

#195234

Postby scotia » January 21st, 2019, 11:21 am

Its January, and I have been back to the loch. I found that all 6 cygnets have disappeared, but the two adult swans are present, and are fiercely defending their domain. While I was present a second pair of adult swans attempted to take up residence, and were chased back and forward across the loch until they decided to move on. Surprisingly, down on the canal, a few miles away from the loch, there are multiple pairs of swans with cygnets mingling together with no apparent animosity. Do we simply have a bad tempered pair on the loch, or are the pair on the loch thinking of building a nest while the canal dwellers are currently not at that stage?

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Re: cygnets

#221662

Postby staffordian » May 14th, 2019, 10:27 pm

Our resident pair of swans are again proud parents.

As last year, there were eight eggs. Last year seven hatched and all seven survived.

The male swan only managed to drive off the final two of last years brood a couple of weeks ago, and on Thursday this years brood started to hatch. Seven emerged again from the eight eggs, and one weak cygnet, which someone said had developed a bloody eye (perhaps from being picked on?) seems to have died as there have only been six for a day or two.

It will be interesting to see if the remaining half dozen stay the course.

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Re: cygnets

#221737

Postby staffordian » May 15th, 2019, 10:00 am

They don't seem to be having much luck this year.

Just five cygnets this morning, sunbathing with their parents on the side of the lake.

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Re: cygnets

#222163

Postby staffordian » May 16th, 2019, 4:06 pm

And today, just four.

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Re: cygnets

#222215

Postby AleisterCrowley » May 16th, 2019, 7:10 pm

Our office is next to a lake - couldn't see our pair of swans yesterday, but today they were sunbathing on the bank, with five cygnets.
I gave them a wide berth as the male had a bit of a cob on...aptly

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Re: cygnets

#222228

Postby staffordian » May 16th, 2019, 8:10 pm

AleisterCrowley wrote:Our office is next to a lake - couldn't see our pair of swans yesterday, but today they were sunbathing on the bank, with five cygnets.
I gave them a wide berth as the male had a bit of a cob on...aptly

The males do seem to get extremely protective when their young are around. Ours spends much of the day powering aggressively up and down the lake taking aim at the Canada Geese, which it presumably sees as either a threat to the cygnets, or perhaps an unwelcome competitor for food.

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Re: cygnets

#222235

Postby AleisterCrowley » May 16th, 2019, 8:26 pm

Yes, we've got loads of Canada geese - the lake is shaped like a bra with a narrow middle section and the cob does a pretty good job keeping 'his' side goose free.. Less bothered about the coots and moorhens

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Re: cygnets

#224908

Postby scotia » May 28th, 2019, 9:52 am

Our swan is still sitting tight on her nest, while the male swims around the loch, harassing any newly arriving geese - although there seems to be a sort of truce with some resident geese who are defending a corner of the loch. I eased my boat as close up to the nest as I could without disturbing her - but there was no sign of cygnets. I keep hoping - since this pair have usually been fertile - and successfully reared 6 cygnets last year.

scotia
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Re: cygnets

#229862

Postby scotia » June 16th, 2019, 10:33 am

I was back to the loch yesterday for the first time since my last post (end of May), and the pair of mute swans were now closely shepherding four cygnets around the loch - pulling up weed for the cygnets to feed on. They often chose areas which were also prime fishing spots, but both fishers and swans co-existed amicably. Not as many cygnets as last year, but still a reasonably clutch.

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Re: cygnets

#237236

Postby scotia » July 17th, 2019, 11:58 am

The four cygnets are growing strongly, but are still in close contact with their two parents. When fishing last week with my granddaughter, the swans approached closely to our boat in a non-confrontational manner, then returned to their favourite patch where the weed is near the surface. I suspect (strictly against club rules) someone has been hand-feeding the swans, but when they found out that we were not playing ball, they returned to more appropriate feeding.

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Re: cygnets

#253454

Postby scotia » September 23rd, 2019, 11:34 pm

On the loch, our four cygnets are thriving, and are now becoming a bit more independent of their parents. So it was six cygnets successfully raised last year, and four this year for our current resident pair of swans. Clearly they are not concerned with overpopulation :)


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