Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Cygnets up close

A month old, and the cygnets - all six of them - are thriving. I mentioned yesterday that I'd seen them - for the first time in three weeks - on the retention pond by ul. Trombity, but today the swan family was bolder and came right out to where the people are - by the new playground on ul. Kórnicka.

I've noticed that they only parade together with both parents present. Over the past three weeks, the male (distinguished by a larger knob over its beak) has been seen regularly on his own, but no sign of the rest of the family. On every occasion since the cygnets hatched, I've only seen them in the presence of mother and father. When father's off on his own, the cygnets and their mother hide out in the reedbeds.

Below: father and three cygnets

Below: both parents and all six cygnets, hatched one month ago (between 20 and 2 May). They've grown hugely since then.

Below: four cygnets in line astern following father.

Below: close-up of a cygnet. Swans' long necks have evolved so they can feed deeper into the water; grebes and coots have evolved the ability to dive to feed even deeper than swans.

Below: photo taken on Monday of the male swan, his identification rings clearly visible. '2KC1' on his right leg, a patriotic 'Poland' ring on his left. He's looking happier than the grey heron who appeared in the previous post! But then mute swans can live to over 25 years of age, the grey heron but five.

Meanwhile, the great crested grebe is still sitting on its egg(s); average incubation period for this species is 27-29 days; I first spotted an egg in the nest on 24 May, so today is Day 28 at the very least. Any time now...


Anonymous said...

We were down by the lakes today. Only saw 4 cygnets with one of the parents...

Michael Dembinski said...

Didn't see swans on either 25th or 26th... Looking back over past years, after a while the swans split up. Last year earliest I saw a 1 parent + 4 cygnets was 17 July, in 2015 it was 31 July.