Friday, 22 August 2014

Eccleston Mere

Coot 130
Mute swan 6 (adult & 5 cygnets)
Tufted duck 15
Swallow 50

There are still five cygnets on the mere. Three cygnets are with the adult swan, the other two live a solitary existence hiding in the corners of the mere or under the trees on the island, but they are definitely still there. I saw all five tonight, in the same view, but not together. The adult swan keeps driving the two lone individuals away, perhaps because he (and I'm pretty sure it is "he") can't support more than three cygnets on his own. However it's important to remember that the adult does not feed the cygnets, they feed themselves, so it's perfectly possible for the lone cygnets to survive on their own if there is enough food in the mere. They've survived for a couple of weeks alone up to now.
The reason I say that the adult is the male is because the female moulted first. The surviving adult is moulting now, which means that it can't be the female. Secondly, the knob above the birds bill is large like a typical males, and the bill is bright, brighter than I would expect on a female.

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