curiosity about the ways of the world

Category: Swans of Pond Cottage

Swan diary: the coming and going of swans at Pond Cottage

Reds (almost) under the bed

A flurry of white feathers on the pond, a pile of guano on the front doorstep and two peanuts in a corner of the hall. Welcome signs of wildlife at Pond Cottage and, note, they are not all outside the cottage. While swans (mostly) keep to the pond, our doorstep guano is deposited by bats roosting above the bedroom window, and the peanuts were left by an inquisitive red squirrel which ventured inside the back door. Continue reading

Swanwatching at Pond Cottage

Phew! Great relief as mother swan appears round a bend in the stream with four cygnets in tow. We had an anxious half hour after arriving at Pond Cottage when only the dad and two young ones appeared at the bank to be fed. It’s not easy being surrogate swan parents!

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Troubled waters

Agitation on the pond.  Fear and fury rippling across the water. Ducklings darting in and out of reeds, their mother circling and crying overhead. The swan family on guard, cygnets packed tight between parents, mother hissing, father lunging at the bank, hitting out hard with his beak. Two helpless humans standing by wondering what on earth is up.   Continue reading

First catch your swan


‘You know those ducks in that lagoon by Central Park South?  That little lake? By any chance do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over?’

I blew the dust off my old copy of The Catcher in the Rye to find that quote. Rather eerily it fell open at exactly the right page. But never mind those ducks in Central Park, Holden Caulfield.  What I want to know is where do the swans go when they leave Pond Cottage?  Long before it is in any danger of freezing over.  Continue reading

Swans rule at Pond Cottage


They shall not pass…

The picture is not very clear but you get the idea. These swans have no intention of letting anyone get past. When I stand up the adults stand up, when I move  forward so do they, hissing and opening their wings to make sure I get the message. It takes a man in a hard hat (oh, why didn’t I get a blurry video of that!) brandishing a white plastic chair, like a lion tamer in a circus ring designed by B&Q, to clear a path to our new vegetable patch.  Swans have last laugh with a march round the garden leaving a trail of surprisingly black poo. Continue reading

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