Here is a summary of what has happened to the Hampden Park Decoy Pond cygnets this year for those who have been following them:
We attended the lake on Tuesday and as we have been doing over the last few months randomly caught one of the cygnets and this is the first time was have been concerned about its weight. We released it again as it did not feel too bad but enough for us to be concerned and start checking more frequently.
We returned yesterday and noticed that one of the swans had a damaged wing dragging in the water. We had an opportunity to catch one of the other cygnets and did so and checked its weight and was concerned enough to place him in our ambulance, and we took the decision to catch the injured cygnet and the others. However the final cygnet we were unable to catch as he was so lively and didn’t want to invasively catch if so lively.
The four cygnets caught weighed 4.3kg, 5.1kg, 5.7kg and 7.25kg, the later probably being a male at that weight. Which is much better than when we caught them last year. The fifth remaining cygnet we left with the parents at the lake.
The 4.3kg cygnet is the one with the damaged wing and has now been taken up to the Swan Sanctuary. The other three which we caught have been checked over at WRAS’s Casualty Centre and given a wormer and after advice from the Swan Sanctuary we will be releasing them back at the lake this afternoon after 3pm.
Yesterday we found the decomposed bodies of two cygnets in the vegetation and reeds at the edge of the lake just anti-clockwise of the large tree by the inlet stream. The swans regularly perch on the edge of this silted up area which has been planted up. Now the vegetation is dying back the bodies were visible. Although impossible to know for sure, they may have been predator attacks due to their location and way in which they are hidden – mink possibly – but that is a big guess.
The eighth cygnet was taken up to the Swan Sanctuary on 18th August being underweight and is doing well up there.
So in summary out of the eight original cygnets:
Two have gone to Swan Sanctuary
Two have died possible predator attacks
Four Staying with Parents.
We will review what has happened later in the year.