Lincoln Swans – May 2015

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Over the last few years I have documented and photographed a number of Swans that inhabit the Lincoln Urban areas and apart from the Precarious swan from 2014 they seem to nest in the same areas every year. This year we have two Mute Swan nests that are fairly close to public footpaths, one of these is located near the university where a number of the students seem to have an interest in the swan, going so far as naming the Swan and posting some do’s and font’s about what to feed the swan (and when they are born) the cygnets too. The second nest is a bit further along the bank in the St. Marks’ area where we usually has a pair of swan take up residence; although we did not have any last year for some reason or another.

University Swan
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I started to take pictures of the swan with the 50mm f1.8 lens attached to the camera as you could get quite close; that said, I always like to keep a reasonable distance between myself and any wildlife as this ensures that we are both safe – the last thing I want to do is worry any wildlife. The Mute Swan on the nest kept a watchful eye on me; there was no sign of they swan’s mate.

As I was taking pictures a pair of Mallard ducks jumped out of the water as they were interested in some of the food not far form the swan; despite the signs stating that bread should not be fed to the swan there was a reasonable amount in front of her. She took particular note of them and at one point shooed them off:
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I decided to switch to the 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR lens.

Both the Male and Female Mallard ducks in these pictures got quite close to me allowing me to take a nice picture or two:
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Once the ducks had walked some way off form the swan, she went back to sleep on the nest:
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I couldn’t see any sign of the eggs or cygnets yet but from the people I have spoken to we are probably only a few days away, maybe a week. I’ll have to keep any eye out for them.

St. Marks Swan
After not seeing any more action I decided to walk down the river bank towards St.Marks where I have seen a swan on a nest too. This one has her mate swimming around near by. Like the previous one she was also on her nest and was spending a great deal of time preening herself:
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This swan was the female (called the Pen)and she was also checking the nest to make sure that it was well maintained:
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As I said earlier the male swan (Cob) was not far off:
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After a few minutes he came ashore allowing the Pen to check the eggs and make sure they were suitably covered:
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Here we can see seven eggs:
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Two of the eggs seemed to get more coverage than the other 5:
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After the Pen had finished covering the eggs the Cob moved nearer to keep an watchful eye out for any predators:
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Here is the final photo just showing the eggs
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Like the swan further up the bank, I will have to keep an eye out for any sign of hatching. The eggs typically take around 36 days incubation before the hatch so we are not too far away, this nest has had a swan for at least two weeks that I’m aware of.

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