Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Swan Story

Hi Folks…

Since our current pair of mute swans first made their home in Llangwm Pill some ten years ago, each year they have attempted to raise a family. Every spring this hapless pair build several nests in and around the Pill, lay one or two eggs and each time the nest and eggs are swamped on the next monthly spring tide or the eggs are predated overnight by foxes. They never learn and it is pitiful to witness. A few of us in the village have discussed their plight on several occasions and this spring after three failed attempts a neighbour of mine decided to step up and do something about it. He acquired some tanalised timber from a sympathetic timber merchant and set about building a sturdy raft complete with buoyancy and secured it to an old disused mooring in the middle of Llangwm Pill, so that it would rise and fall with the tide and rest on the mud at low tide, reasonably safe from any interference. For finishing touches he tied lengths of driftwood around the sides and formed an enclosure on the top of the raft before adding hay and other vegetation.

Lo and behold, 24 hours later the swans had sussed it out and the pen set about fashioning a nest. That was on 23rd April. The folks living around the pill have taken an avid interest and kept a constant watch. She laid two eggs on 24th April and six weeks later on 6th June, to everyone’s delight and relief two chicks successfully hatched and the following day were happily paddling about and feeding under the watchful eyes of the pen and cob. They are, of course, very vulnerable and every night a pair of foxes are seen slinking around the raft. However, both parents are, so far, managing to keep the foxes at bay. Until they get bigger I presume these cygnets are also under threat from marauding gulls, but so far I haven’t seen any evidence of this.

The entire village appears to be cockahoop about this happy event so we’re all hoping that they manage to survive.

So, after a bit of human intervention and ingenuity, at last the future for our swans in Llangwm looks promising.


Graham Brace