Cygnets (yes, again!)

Topsham, Devon May 16, 2005 For the sixth year in a row, a pair of swans have nested in the riverbank underneath our garden wall, just off the Topsham Quay. Yesterday Bella called to us excitedly, "The cygnets have hatched!"
And here they are, less than one day old:

The original story of how they came to us is a saga of trauma, high tide and intrigue...and the culinary pleasures of eggs.

The cygnets have already taken to the water, though the journey down through the reeds and across the wide glistening stretch of mud is not without its hazards. It seems there is a 'runt', a smaller-than-the-rest cygnet that is always lagging behind and getting stuck chest-down in the thick and oozing Tops'm mud. But somehow the little fellow has managed to make it down from and - even more difficult - back up to the nest. Once in the water, they swim as naturally as if they had been doing it all their lives - which in truth they virtually have! They come to our pontoon and we toss them tiny morsels of bread. The mother and father greedily snatch it away, even from their own babies!

First swim

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