Serenity

Our pair of mute swans are still yet to perform their elegant breeding displays, at least while I have been watching! Despite many hours of observing and waiting it has simply been business as usual for the pair; feeding, preening and patrolling their territory. It may be just a little early for them yet, the…

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…

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…

Ugly ducklings?

It has now been around 6 weeks since the mute swans cygnets left their nest and I am relieved to report, all five youngsters are still alive and thriving under the care of their devoted parents. The cygnets have grown rapidly in this short space of time. Gone are the cute, grey balls of fuzz,…

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…

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…

Tranquility

It was a perfect winter’s day here in Aberystwyth. We awoke to a crisp frost which melted away to a glorious sunny day but still with that cold, bracing winter chill in the air. Down in the harbour the tide was high and the water looked dazzling in the morning light, creating beautiful reflections across…

Circle of life: Part II

My joy at discovering the Mute Swan cygnets a few days ago has now turned to sadness. Unfortunately when I caught up with the family again a few days ago it appears that two of the three cygnets have died. Like most baby birds cygnets are extremely vulnerable, particularly in the first few days and…