A couple of swans have set up camp at the base of our glamping site on the Exton Estate and we're lucky enough to have a good view of their growing clutch of eggs.
This pair of beautiful birds have nested in this spot for the past couple of years and our luxury colonial-style tents are in a fantastic position looking down over the lake they nest on. Mute swans are large and elegant and can lay anywhere between four and ten eggs. Towards the end of April we started noticing the female getting restless and within a few days two eggs had appeared in her nest. There is currently a grand total of four eggs, but more could be on their way and we are eagerly awaiting the hatching!
The mute swan, which is the most common of the swan species spotted in Britain generally mate for life and can live to over 10 years. Usually in April the male will start supplying the female with nest materials so she can start to build a nest at the water's edge. These are large structures made from various vegetation like dried grasses, sticks and rushes. Between the end of April and the beginning of May the eggs are lain and both male and female share the task of incubation. It takes over a month for the eggs to hatch, sometimes more than 40 days. After this cygnets will remain with their parents for around five months or accompany them to the wintering area and possibly join a flock. They begin to fly at around 120 days and it is not until they are two or three years old that they themselves start to breed.
We're certainly keeping our eye on this pair and their eggs. Classic cygnets are often a dull greyish/buff colour and gradually come into their white plumage over the next 12 months. We're really excited for these little ones to hatch, keep your eyes open when you're onsite, but do remember swans can be quite territorial!
Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.