Friday, 31 May 2013

Penny Pre Moulting Bath

Cygnets are still intact and thriving, Popeye and Penny keeping them close and ever watchful of potential danger. Penny is entering the pre moulting stage and pulling at her feathers, I think there is some irritation and possible parasites that need expelled with the old feathers.

 Sitting on a nest for nearly 7 weeks is bound to allow some pests to get onto her body.

She was doing a lot of picking and had a vigorous bath. ( short video below ).

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Macro Mode Cygnets

Generally I keep my camera set on auto, because I found that I can't really improve much on the auto setting of my particular camera.

However I switch to the macro mode when getting the chance to take close up shots. 

Enclosed some recent shots of the cygnets in macro mode.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Otter Danger

Penny set the alarm bells going this evening in the Harbour and the Cygnets quickly scrambled to get onto her back.

 An Otter was spotted fishing along the harbour entrance wall, and Penny quickly got the cygnets out of the water and onto the harbour beach.
I suspect this Otter has been resident around the Harbour for some time, and is probably the killer of 2 young ducks in the harbour earlier in the year.

 It is noticeable that few ducks use the harbour these days with an Otter resident !

Monday, 27 May 2013


Not yet 2 weeks old but growing rapidly the cygnets are still pretty adorable to look at, asleep or not. 

Popeye and Penny are ever watchful and keep all comers at a safe distance - especially predators !

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Winter to Summer

Winter to Summer in 24 hours - talk about climate change ! With blue skies, warm Sunshine and the weekend, people have taken to the outdoors and the Cygnets have been getting snapped hundreds of times.

 A stream of people heading for the harbourfest have stopped and taken pics of the Cygnets in passing, the word Cute being constantly repeated.
The cygnets also like to dive and Swim, then a preen and snooze afterwards.

This warmth is badly needed for the vegetation and insect life to multiply, providing feeding for the wildlife.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Cold Comfort

Yet another bitterly cold day with horrendous hail showers and cutting wind, coldest May I can ever remember !  The birds don't exactly relish it either, lack of Sun and warmth does not provide the insect life or river weed growth needed for feeding and keeping out the cold.

Provision of soft lettuce and lawn grass for the cygnets as they grow rapidly, nearly doubling in size from birth.

 Penny took them to the shelter of the island this morning, 

while the mother of the surviving links ducklings, keeps a careful watch over her brood.

Below,  Short video taken a few days ago Penny and cygnets having a wash and brush up !

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

More Aww Pics

Cygnets are almost a week old and brood still intact, the weather improved slightly just in time for their arrival.

 A selection of various shots, and short video over the past week for your enjoyment.

Based on the Saying "you only get back what you put in", I'm glad putting in the right food and care produces these results.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Duckling Fracture Success

The astonishing power of recovery after a severe fracture of the ducklings thigh bone is complete. After 10 days I returned the duckling to the family, in the hope that it would not be rejected by the mother. Choosing the place carefully whilst feeding the family I released the duckling into the water, it made a beeline for the group and was hardly noticed.

When they all moved off as a family unit I was delighted. Once again what seemed an impossible rehab circumstance was turned on it's head. The break was a displacement fracture high up at the thigh joint inside the body of the duckling, it could not be plastered, splinted or pinned.

The key was to isolate the bird in a comfortable, completely stress free environment, with food, water and a daily painkiller. The bird basically found the most comfortable natural position to rest, allowing the natural healing process to take over.

Within 6 days it was able to walk using the whole limb, and within another 4 days it was almost putting all it's weight on it. Being only a month old, and growing rapidly has probably helped a lot too. It has a limp, but at least a totally usable leg as well - I am delighted !

River Rescue Drama

After yesterday's downpour, the river rose quickly and posed a threat to the cygnets. Penny and Popeye took them downstream to the pier to feed on the seaweed, the problem was how to get back upstream ! 

Encountering heavy current they crossed the river trying to get to calmer waters on the east side, as it turned out this was a bad move, because the cygnets got washed downstream and Penny and Popeye struggled to save them from possible drowning.

Being trapped at the tarry dyke and in danger of being swept into the metal piling and pushed under by the current, Penny realised the danger and mounted a rescue operation which saved the day.

The sequence of pics shows the events of being trapped against the tarry dyke, and the efforts to protect the cygnets. 

Ultimately getting them back to the other side of the river to safety.