As I peered over the edge of the road bridge, leading into Emsworth village. I was somewhat surprised to see this beautiful swan, sleeping on her rather large nest made up primarily of twigs and litter.
It struck me, that having obviously helped her mate build this seemingly hap-hazard construction. It was in a location where most of us would consider to be, the most vulnerable of locations.
On closer inspection the nest contained plastic bags, old clothing, newspapers, bits of string, even discarded bottles. It was filled out further with a variety of unrecognisable odds and ends.
And yet to this stunning creature, it was the nursery. The place she had personally selected and chosen. A place where her precious eggs could be safely incubated.
I leaned over the edge to snap this image, and watched for a while, as she snuggled her long slender neck underneath a wing remaining almost motionless, amongst the debris.
Apparently, five to seven eggs are usually laid. And this occurs between the months of March and May taking approximately 36 days to hatch?
Amazingly, each of the young cygnets born, are able to swim off immediately.
However, they are each carefully monitored and cared for, by both doting parents. Both of whom will defend by hissing or puffing up their feathers.
They can also attack, if antagonised enough, or feel the young are under threat.
The new cygnets stay around in the areas they were born where there is safety, food and shelter.
Eventually they are then able themselves to breed. Usually at two or three years of age.
I shall definitely visit here again, and try to get a decent shot of the cygnets.
Meanwhile the nest might look to me, like a pile of trash?
But the birds who build and occupy them, are some of the most graceful and beautiful waterfowl creatures you are ever likely to see.
I wish these two every luck in the world!