Marlborough (Tuesday 26th July 2016)
There had been further sightings of the water voles including young at the Marlborough Waterfront and Val had posted a video of them taken on Monday evening so I called there the following afternoon and sat on a table beside the Kennet admiring the plants, watching the moorhens and keeping an eye out.
Val came out and showed me exactly where they were likely to be seen, and where she thought they lived. It seems they had made use of some man-made piping. When she returned from looking after the rare breed sheep in the adjacent Cooper's Meadow she told me she had just seen the visiting pair of swans with their eight cygnets at the mill pond on the Kennet, so I went off to see them.
By the time I arrived they had moved on slightly and were in the River Kennet beside the road bridge in Hillier's Yard, leading to Waitrose, and I was able to capture a series of pictures of them. It was thought that this was their first brood, but I have since been contacted by a resident of West Overton with the back story.
This is the third year the pen swan has nested. In the first year she had two cygnets, one killed by a fox. In the second year she had three cygnets, but her partner and one of the cygnets were killed by foxes. The resident obtained a licence and moved them to his garden which has a pond for them, and a paddock with a two-strand electric fence around the boundary, but the fox still got the other two cygnets, the problem being that the Kennet dries up totally for most of the year there. She overwintered with his chickens, going in at night for safety, coming out for breakfast in the morning. When the river ran again she moved to the river and found a new mate.
The cygnets were hatched at West Overton on 20th May and were brought up to his house by the swans the next day. They were fed on chick crumb and vitalin dog food for the next 22 days, and then in the evening they all came up for tea, stayed for a while and then left. This time they went downstream, following the receding river. The pair are expected to return to West Overton next year.
30.7.2016 (1322 hr)
Blip #1899 (#2149 including archived blips)
Consecutive Blip #003
LOTD #1134 (#1258 including archived blips)
A Visit To The Kennet At Marlborough, 26 July 2016 (Flickr album)
Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Jefferson Airplane - 3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds (recorded 4 November 1966, Hollywood CA)
Continuing this weeks psychedelic theme, this is from Surrealistic Pillow.
One year ago:
Fluffy 0933 hr