The last time I went for a walk around our local pond/lake, I didn’t blog about it as I have been known to do in the past. This time it was just too sad…
At this time of year, we usually have nesting swans, and earlier this year a pair of swans had built a huge nest and started to lay their eggs. When I was there, I counted five eggs in the nest and made a note on the calendar to remind me when to come back to see the hatchlings.
This date was last Wednesday, and I looked forward to my visit. But the minute I arrived, I knew something was wrong. It was a grey day, no sunshine and it felt chilly, but that wasn’t it. I could sense something, something that felt wrong. No idea why, for everything looked normal, but as I approached the nest, I encountered a rather large plastic barrier at the edge of the pond. Probably put there to stop people (and dogs) from getting too close, for the nest was rather close to the land.
Then I looked at the nest. The swan in residence looked old and tired and was still sitting on the eggs. Normally she would be fussing with the nest and preening her feathers, but she was huddled over the eggs as if she was cold. More to the point, she was alone. Where was her partner?
I knew that under no normal circumstance would they be apart. In previous years they had been good parents, sharing the care and feeding each other so as not to let the eggs get cold. I scanned the pond, but there was no sign of him (or her, as I can’t tell them apart) what on earth could have happened?
If I had been wearing boots, my heart would have been in one of them, and instead of enjoying the rest of my walk, I went home.
For days, the image of that sad and lonely swan haunted me, and I worried constantly about how she would feed herself. With the cold weather we had been having lately, it was important to keep the eggs warm.
Maybe that was why they hadn’t hatched yet. Maybe they wouldn’t. It was so very sad to contemplate.
I have been back again this week, but nothing had changed. Other hatchlings were swimming around, the usual moorhens and mallards, but looking at them made me sadder than ever.
I wondered about contacting the local authority, but they must be aware of what was happening, hence the newly erected barrier. Maybe something had happened to warrant this, and I tried not to think of what it could be.
I will have to go back again next week, but if the eggs still haven’t hatched, they probably never will…