End of an era?

Saturday 11th April: Isolation Day 20 Strangely I haven’t seen our resident pair of majestic mute swans since last Autumn, after a disappointing summer where the pair lost their brood of cygnets very early on. Whilst it isn’t unusual for these swans to disappear for most of the winter, their return is now well overdue…

Familiar faces

It was back in October when I last saw our mute swan family down on the river Rheidol. At the time their single cygnet was a few months old and almost ready to spread his wings and gain independence. It appears that soon afterwards, all 3 birds disappeared from the area. The cygnet likely left…

Cygnet at 3 months

Our mute swan cygnet is now around three and a half months old, and is unrecognisable from the tiny, vulnerable ball of grey down that first emerged from the nest back in May. It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly they grow and the time has passed in what feels like the blink…

3 week old cygnet

Our little Mute Swan cygnet is now around 3 weeks old, and growing rapidly! Now that it has grown stronger and has survived the first and most vulnerable weeks of it’s life, the parents have relaxed their guard, although they are still careful not to let the cygnet stray too far from their sides. As…

Survival of the fittest

A couple of weeks earlier than last year, and once again we have a cygnet out on the river Rheidol, hatched from the resident swan pair, whose lives I have followed closely over recent years. Sadly however, it seems the pairs’ success of last year (when they reared 5 cygnets to independence) is not set…

Welcome home

Having last seen them back in November, I was delighted to spot two large familiar white shapes gliding towards me on my recent trip down into the harbour. The resident pair of Mute Swans are back for another year! Where they have spent the winter is a mystery, although both birds seemed to have returned…

Among the flock

In just 4 short months since their arrival into the world, the five Mute Swans cygnets have grown rapidly from tiny balls of grey fuzz to large, powerful birds that will soon be as big as their parents. With their increasing size they have grown bold and much less reliant on the protection of their…

Birds of a feather

A beautiful sunny morning began with chasing the Grey Wagtails around the harbour mouth, trying and failing to get some decent photographs. I was just ready to head home and call it a day when I noticed several familiar figures gliding towards me across the sparkling water. It was the mute swan family, the 5…

Sleepy cygnets

All was quiet down in the harbour this morning and the mute swan family were taking advantage of the tranquillity and resting in the seaweed on the shore. All five cygnets were huddled together sleeping as the parents dozed nearby, but alert to any danger that might threaten their youngsters. After several minutes a cygnet…

Five fluffy cygnets

I have now spent a few days watching the mute swan family from a frustrating distance, as they introduced their newly hatched cygnets to the territory but keeping their distance from my side of the river. Happily today they finally entered the harbour ‘gap’ and into range of my camera as the tide rose around…

Baby boom!

It’s 1st of June, also the first day of meteorological summer and it seems that today is the day for a baby boom! Almost exactly a year to the date from the arrival of last year’s cygnets, this summer the Mute Swan pair have successful hatched five tiny babies. Hopefully this bigger brood will increase…

Swan courtship

This morning I experienced one of those “right place, right time” moments. No sooner had I got down into the harbour with my camera, did I find the resident pair of Mute Swans acting unusually. They were swimming in very close contact and dipping their heads into the water and preening their wing feathers in…