Hopes raised over rare swan numbers
Conservationists believe it has been a good year for the declining Bewick’s swan population.
Hopes were raised after a family of eight swans arrived at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, for the winter.
The arrival of Slimbridge regular Everton, his new mate Rovers, and their six cygnets is the largest ever swan family recorded at the reserve.
Normally the maximum number of eggs laid by a Bewick’s swan would be six and the chances of all these hatching and then making it through the first few months would be very slim.
Larger swan families tend to be more dominant, so this huge family is now an imposing force on the Rushy Lake overlooked by the Peng observatory.
They have joined 200 more of the threatened wild swans, which have arrived to winter at Slimbridge after a 2,500-mile journey from their breeding grounds in Arctic Russia.
Swan expert Julia Newth said: “After laying the eggs in June this year, Rovers, who is female, will have incubated them for 29 to 30 days with some help from Everton.
“During this vulnerable time, both parents will have closely guarded the nest and protected their brood against predators such as arctic foxes, wolverines, white-tailed eagles and skuas just to name a few. This would have been a perilous time for the family.
“Then would have come a period of rapid weight gain with the swans feeding day and night on the abundant wetland vegetation and berries. When September arrived, the family escaped the arctic winter by embarking on their long journey to reach us.
“We are very excited by their arrival and hope this might be an early sign that the Bewick’s have had a good breeding season and conservationists working in the Netherlands will soon be reporting on data collected from countries important for the swans, including Britain, to reveal if this is the case.”
Latest posts by Sally - Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Win ONE of THREE Felt Bedside Caddy Multi Pocket Organisers by iBeani - February 28, 2021
- E-bike boom – the quiet revolution - February 26, 2021
- Should Mr Potato Head become gender neutral? - February 26, 2021
- Reliving Past Holidays - February 25, 2021
- Would you support the introduction of immunity certificates? - February 25, 2021
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!