Saturday, 23 May 2009

Communing with a Sadness of Swans

Those of you who folllow The Lucky Duck's blog will have seen the lovely pictures of our swans, Flanders and Swan, and their brood of seven cygnets.

Nature is red in tooth and claw, though, and we were prepared for a fair amount of predator loss. (I mean, what with the freshwater wolfpacks of circling pike, the aerial threat of rooks, owls etc, and of course the depradations of assorted foxy-whiskered gentlemen, it's like the Battle of the North Atlantic out there!)

We weren't prepared for yesterday's calamity, however.

Five of the brood managed to get swept over the nearby weir. Despite Jackie and Helen's best efforts to rescue and revive them, they all died. The two survivors happened to be sitting on Flander's back, so rode out the danger.

I got back very late from work last night as we had an evening Tour and Tasting at the vineyard.

I opened the side hatch to feed the surviving members of the family. They seemed very subdued. We talked for a while in the clicks and murmers of Mute Swan, and Swan chewed my sleeves and jumper elbows and nibbled my fingers while there was still food in the water. Flanders carried her remaining babies on her back. There was a palpable sense of loss.

This morning, though, they are back to more or less normal. All survived the night and, having battered on the side hatch to demand their breakfast, they have paddled off in the direction of the local pub, there to demand tit-bits in exchange for photo-ops with the Bank Holiday weekend crowds in the riverside beer garden.

Et le monde continue toujours......

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