Summer was almost there as I wandered almost aimlessly around a nature reserve. A lake is present and I stopped to have a look at it. Spring had yielded the usual waterfowl offspring for the year, doing their floaty thing. I'm not a birdy and knowing little about the feathered lot thought that swans only had one or two offspring. So when a swan came by I had quite a surprise, she had 8 cygnets with her. Some research was needed to find out more about this type of bird.
Swans are one of the largest birds on the planet. They can weigh up to around 30+ lbs, have a wing span of over 10 feet and there are 6 species. The ones here are Mute Swans and I thought it would be nice follow the growth of the cygnets over the summer months.
I guess these were hatched around a week ago. I'm not sure how soon they hit the water after de-egging and they didn't say 'cause they are silent ;)
In the lake is a very large carp and I have seen it take an entire gull in it's mouth and submerge, so a little baby swan was just an hors d'oeuvre. Or a heron got one. There is a fair sized Terrapin here as well. It's anybody's guess what ate it.
Six have survived and are growing. It seems this happens in spurts, because they stayed this size for a couple of weeks then suddenly expanded.
It won't be long before they start flying. Once that happens the offspring will leave the little lake for parts unknown.
Aug 20, 2021
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