It all started a few days ago when two boats came up from below lock. Because of lack of moorings, the shorter boat went on the lock landing and the longer of the two went next to Jim and Jen by the swing bridge. This effectively cut off the swans passage to the nest as no room was to be had between the two boats. The youngsters were still too young to be able to climb up the steep sides of the coping stones so instead, they stayed on the point by the fingerpost. So we wondered if this was the reason why they headed for the lock, although this could also be the natural progression of swans to extend their range. Yesterday then, I had a frantic text from Jen saying the swans had gone below the lock. This was disastrous as another pair with cygnets, older than ours, had made the stretch between Langley Mill and Eastwood their home territory and the inevitable happened. A massive fight between the two cobs, three of the cygnets were drowned and the other four disappeared. Our swan pair made their escape heading back above lock leaving the remaining cygnets behind. I ran back for my fishing net and on my return found that two of the cygnets were seen hiding in shrubs on the opposite bank and one had already been rescued by Jen. Then a bit of luck involved as two lads came by in a small dinghy. Armed with my net they managed to scoop up the pair from the opposite bank and Ian then legged it back up the lock armed with the cygnets to return them to their parents. Of the forth, there wasn't a sign! Eventually, we gave up thinking the worst must have happened when suddenly a yell from the lock to say one had been seen trying to get out. Ian went to the rescue with the net and the forth successfully returned to the parents. All in all, it had been a very upsetting few hours and I hope and pray the adults will now stay above the lock. Oh, and Jim and Jen moved the boat forward into the winding hole today so the swans can once again return to the nest.
On a lighter note, we have new life in the basin. The blue tits have almost finished raising the chicks, two days ago the moorhen appeared with 4 babies, a duck appeared this morning with nine tiny ducklings and the pied wagtail was busy feeding the fledgelings.