We think our swans show signs of being able to reason and problem solve. Our neighbourhood research on the internet only found one other instance recorded of swans building their nest on water.
We live near a large pond called Swans’ Pool. For years it was swanless, so it was a thrill when Gustav and Solveig took up residence in 2009. Their story is followed by lots of local people. The first breeding year put everyone through great trauma, as Gustav somehow got injured and had to be rescued and treated by the RSPCA. Then sadly all five cygnets died. Next year was a triumph however, with four cygnet successfully raised.
2012 was the Year of the Badger. Solveig laid 6 eggs but one by one they disappeared and Brock, we think, was the culprit. What could be done? Brilliant Super Solving Solvieg fixed it by starting to build another nest – 2ft out from the bank; too big a challenge for any badger. Helped by our neighbours, who brought them lovely long grasses, the determined parents built a splendid new nest and Solveig laid a new clutch of eggs.
It was a late start, and finally only two cygnets made it through to adolescence but took off safely for their new lives last autumn.
This year no messing. The nest was revitalised on the water and we have three fine cygnets who are fast turning white with maturity, soon to be flying off to waters new. Probably they should have gone by now, but like many teenagers find being home with Mum ‘n’ Dad too cushy a number until given a shove!