Tag Archives: Swans

#30DayWild – Day 23 – Cygnets

Today I decided to take a trip out to Warwick, I had never been before so it was an interesting trip.

It is a beautiful town, full of history and more importantly wildlife! I watched the Swifts fly high over the buildings, a few butterflies flutter down the street and admired the plants that had found the tiniest crack in the ancient city walls in which to grow!

I made a point of visiting the river, it was beautiful. The waters were clear, you could see huge shoals of fish. The waters were clearly cool as people were boating and swimming along the shallows.

All these people meant that the group of cygnets, watched carefully by their parents, got a lot of attention. Making their adorable ‘peep-peep-peep-peep’ calls as they paddled along. They were the perfect conclusion to my day!

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Worcester in Flood 2016

I was back in Worcester for the day on Tuesday. I had a few moments to myself, and so seized the opportunity to witness the flood waters and the swans of the River Severn.

Mute SwanMute SwanMute SwanSwans amongst the pigeonsMute SwanPuddles and rain dropsSilhouettes at sunset

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Worcester in flood February 2014

As the flood waters recede in Worcester, I thought I would share with you a few photographs I have taken over the past few weeks.

Swan flying upstreamSwans flying upstream rather than battle against the increased strength of the River Severn’s current.

Stretching SwanA Swan stretching its wings on the river bank, a place that is normally fountains where children play.

Swans swimming at a resautant's doorNormally on the dry banks of the River Severn, Browns Restaurant now has Swans swimming to its door.

Swans resting in the light of duskSwans resting and stretching in the light of dusk on a road normally log-jammed with traffic.

Worcester CathedralA view of the Cathedral from the flood water’s edge.

Bridge to nowhere!Bridge to nowhere!

Sunset reflected in the flood watersSunset reflected in the flood waters that cover a playing field, a temporary new home for some Mallards.

Moon light reflected in the flood watersMoon reflected in the flood waters covering the same playing field.  The area is normally grass to the line of trees.

River overspilling into Gheluvelt ParkRiver overspilling into Gheluvelt Park, the fence-line marks where a path normally runs.

View from Carrington BridgeA look down across the River Severn from the Carrington Bridge. You can see little islands which are actually the tops of trees that normally run along the river’s edge.

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Esméralda is the nickname my friend has given the female Mute Swan in my local park (inspired by her ‘ring’ code). On my occasional meanderings through the park I offer a handful of duck food to the huge gathering of waterfowl around the ornamental pond and another handful to Esméralda and Mr Esméralda.









Expectant duucks!






The ornamental pond is very much home to this pair of swans and they have been there for at least the last two years . I’m sure they are known to many families who take advantage of the council provided free duck food to feed all the grateful birds on this mini-lake.

Mr Esméralda and eggs






It was the cause of great excitement for myself and my friend (and I’m guessing many others) when Esmé made a nest.








Esmé and her mate’s diligence paid off; out of seven eggs, four not-so-ugly-ducklings hatched! I even saw kids on bikes make visits to see the ‘baby swans’! It was heartening to see such affection.
















A few weeks ago, on a visit, I saw a very subdued Esméralda and mate both unwilling to clumsily to come ashore from the small lake. Both mother and mate mournfully skulked mid-pond, keeping an unusual distance from their public.There was also a distinct absence of chicks. My friend and I frantically searched the park for any evidence of the Signets to no avail. We checked the local press, again to no avail. We resigned ourselves to think the worst, for the chick’s safety and of mankind! After all, they are cute fluffy animals that could make cute fluffy pets.

A week later I passed through the park again. The rain had returned and the walled stream where the swan family were last seen together was no longer the calm flow of water it normally is, but a strong funnelled torrent that could easily sweep a grown man away! Then it dawned on me; this was after just a single day of rain, not so long ago there where several days of continuous downpour. The signets never stood a chance. With sadness I called my friend and gave him the bad news. My only grain of consolation was that the family’s demise was dealt by nature’s hand.

Torrent of flood water!





So I wrote this sad story for Esméralda and her family.


Esméralda and family








Stop Press!

The story given an added twist a few days ago! The subdued behaviour of the park’s resident swans may have been more sheepish than sadness. They have finally been persuaded to waddle out of the lake and … they are not Esméralda and mate! Maybe, just maybe, Esmé and mate followed the young signets downstream and are doing well else where! Thus leaving room for another pair to move into the vacant territory. Although this summer I won’t see Esmé and family grow, I’m sure the loyal parents will see this small family succeed.

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