Posted: 16 May 2022
Over the last few weeks I have been reporting that things aren't taking place in the way that they have over the last few years. Since 2017 the swans have been nesting on the main island. Until last year, when they nested on the western tip, they had always built the nest at the northern tip of the island. It had become so routine I began not to bother to record when they had begun nest building.
This year was different. We did not see the kind of behaviour that I first described as Cambridge's ASBO Swan as nesting began when a lone male also appeared on site, but we did have a battle between two pairs in February.
On Friday, after visits by one swan then a pair over the last few weeks, we had three on site and battle commenced but, as with the Canada geese, this mating behaviour was late compared with previous years.
I didn't witness the battle but was called into the lounge to see the waves on the lake that had been generated by the battle. By then all was calm but we could make out that the swans were just the other side of the fence separating us from the cottages next door. I went through the gate to find the pair in the water with slightly raised wings, a posture that seems to be adopted before a fight.
There were comings and goings over the weekend but by Sunday night (the photo was taken at 20:34), rather than a pair we had a single bird and it settled for the night on the traditional nest site at the northern tip of the island.
Why all this fuss about the swans? It is the swans that appear to see off the geese that the cottage owners have been concerned about in the past. With their tendency to poo every six minutes, the lawns behind the cottages can become a mess that gets transferred into the cottages causing a big cleaning problem for them.