The swan's young are short-necked and thickly downed as today's blip shows. It's amazing that they're capable of running and swimming a few hours after hatching. However, they are carefully nurtured for several months by very attentive parents. It's a wonderful sight to see them preening their feathers just like the adult birds. Are they copying what they observe or is it instinct or a bit of both? I'll be watching their progress.
There is one unhatched egg in the nest with no attempt by the adult birds to remove it although they regularly leave the nest with their little brood in tow to forage for food. Three cygnets have met a sticky end, probably as lunch for pike, which is the main predator in this stretch of the canal.