Friday, 25 May 2007

Cygnets & goslings

Four of the five cygnets that visit each day

A proud parent mute swan

How could they be described as ugly ducklings?

As you can see, the cygnets are beautiful and not like the 'ugly duckling' of the Hans Christian Andersen tale and subsequent children's song by Danny Kaye. They visit two or three times a day and are popular with all the islanders. At this stage there's a good chance the five will survive. They will usually remain with their parents until they are almost fully grown and most of their plumage has changed to white. When the time is right they will be driven off by their parents.

One of many goslings

Canada geese are exceptionally good parents. Unfortunately they successfully rear large numbers of goslings and protect their young by forming crĂȘches. Flotillas of as many as 60 or more young will be escorted by 3 or 4 adults. The goslings pictured above were part of a smaller crĂȘche of 35.

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