Saturday, 28 October 2017

Penny Missing !

Our resident Swan Penny has not been seen since last Sunday. Both she and Duke disappeared after last Sunday evenings feed. However Duke flew in last Wednesday, and has been around ever since...Alone!

This is worrying, most unusual and has never happened before. It leads me to suspect what I have thought on occasions, that Duke is actually directly related to Penny - a Son of several years back. 

This would normally be the season to offload  her cygnet offspring, and since the egg laying was infertile, Duke was in fact the only offspring to offload. As they were both gone for 3 days before Duke returned, it seems likely that Penny has joined a flock somewhere and perhaps trying to find another partner.

The fact is that no truly bonded pair would split up, unless one died or was killed. Penny is in prime condition and still  capable of producing a full compliment of eggs. Although she has never left her River home for any more than 3 days in the past 10 years, this would be the best time to leave and find a mate. 

The territory is safe at this time of year since no Swans will be looking for territory until January. It is exactly a year since she got in tow with Duke so the time is right for Swans to find partners now. If she turns up with a strong male, Duke will most certainly be pushed out. If Penny has retired completely she may just stay with a flock in her old age, but I think she is far from retirement yet. 

The photos are of Duke flying in today against strong blustery  winds.

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