When I last visited the pair of swans on the local lake on 16th April this year I was lucky to catch mum stretching her legs away from her nest. This gave me a lovely view of her 5 large white eggs.
I hadn't visited since then as every times I drove past I could see her sitting on the nest so presumed she was still incubation the eggs. Last week I was away for a few days and when I drove past this last Wednesday there was no sign of her or her partner so I stopped to investigate. They had moved the few yards up to the other lake which is hidden from the road and she was relaxing in the afternoon sun on the side of the lake with her new family and the proud Dad was in the water nearby. I was surprised to see that she has 8 cygnets. She must have laid more eggs since my last visit. They usually lay between 4 and 7 so this year she has done remarkably well. I hope they all survive as last year out of the 5 they had only 3 survived through the winter, or so I thought! The swans are very popular and there are always people visiting them.On this day a woman there told me she heard that 2 of last years cygnets had fishing hooks caught up in them and were taken away to have them removed. She also said they don't tend to return them to the parents when this happens. So I don't know where they went. Just hope they did survive.
According to the woman I spoke to they hatched about 2 weeks ago so are no longer tiny and seem to be growing well.
Hopefully next time I visit they will be swimming so I can see them better.