We haven't had so many swans in this area since the Hampton flock relocated to Kingston. I've seen at least 12 on our stretch this past fortnight and the dominant swans aren't happy. There seem to be two dominant pairs and, as yet, neither has managed to establish their supremacy and banish the other swans from the territory.
After the chase it's time to take a bow!
In between chases there has been time for romance. I heard this pair (below) 'sweet talking' in the strange way that mute swans do when they're bonding. For the record, they're not as mute as their name would suggest!
Two mute swans bond with each other
I discovered the culprit - the thief that's been stealing the duck's eggs from the nest box. There's only one left and it has a peck mark on it. While two ducks were looking at the nest box this morning a crow emerged from inside! They're such clever birds but it's sad that the duck's eggs have been stolen and the nest disrupted. Normally the crows' broods hatch quite early in Spring and the adults are on the lookout for as much food as they can gather. Duck eggs are definitely on the menu.
The guilty party