These are the pictures I took of the swan on the nest this morning.
It’s a magnificent structure. I don’t know if it was the male or female ‘sitting’ (apparently the female has a paler beak) but the other was to my left some distance away, watching my every move.
The male and the female birds, the cob and pen, usually attempt to mate for life, although it is not true to say that if one of the birds were to die the other would necessarily pine away. It is possible for an adult bird to find an alternative mate.
The nest is a huge mound of material, normally dried grasses and assorted vegetation, sticks and rushes, constructed at the water’s edge. The nest is built by the female, while the male supplies the materials.
The female lays up to seven eggs between late April and early May. Both sexes incubate the eggs, which hatch after 35-41 days.
Young birds will not generally breed for the first two years of adult life.
I’ve seen a flock of swans in the field running parallel to the dog walk, and a lone swan comes alongside our boat quite often.
On the river last week, I took several photos of them, either in groups or singly.
I think they are majestic and graceful.
So many swans! Beautiful 🙂 And excellent photos 🙂 I look forward to seeing the chicks 🙂
So am I, oh so am I!
They truly are one of the most stunning creatures on this earth, and to think you have the privilege to see this young family begin new lives is so exciting. Your photos are wonderful.
I can’t believe the nest isn’t disturbed–it seems so open and available to prey. But perhaps I can remember back to the one encounter I had with a swan on a French river bank. I ran for my life at one point. That bird was seriously intent on having my picnic.
And many thanks for the heartwarming words on my post today. You have such a lovely way of offering kindness and encouragement.
The swans have built their nest between a pontoon and the river bank, so it’s protected to some extent. I’ve never been able to get so close to one before, as the one in Lincolnshire was on the other side of the river bank to where we used to walk, so I had no idea how big the nest can actually be.
The swan that comes up to the boat was staring at me when I opened the cover the other morning to take Maggie out. It hissed, but didn’t back off or show any other sign of aggression, and Maggie didn’t make any effort at all to get close to it. Hopefully they’ve ‘reached an understanding’. I should have more Swan posts over the next couple of months and I’m really looking forward to seeing any babies!
Beautiful! I can’t wait to see the ugly ducklings!
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