Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Sad Swan Season

After a long gruelling incubation period, it looks like Penny and Duke have been unable to hatch any cygnets.
This is incredibly sad after all the trials and tribulations of the past year. We had the death of Popeye last September after a long and productive life, fathering over 62 cygnets during the past nine seasons. Then we had the good fortune for Penny to get Duke, a new mate who had been around the bay for some weeks before Popeye died. It seemed like a match made in heaven and a continuation of Penny's highly productive life.

They bonded well, but Duke was sick last November and we had him sent for medical treatment, after he was returned he was fine for a few weeks but then took ill again. During this time another pair of swans moved in and ousted Penny. Duke was again treated successfully and returned to rejoin Penny and battle the young pair that tried to take over the territory. The mating season seemed normal, apart from the occasional skirmish with the young pair all went well.

However it is now 5 days beyond the usual incubation period and reluctantly I have to accept that for some reason yet to be established - the eggs have not hatched.
I am sure that hundreds of local people will be disappointed not to see our river cygnets this year. 

                              I am particularly vexed for Penny, since she is still sitting - determined to hatch the unhatchable !

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