The female swan from the Three Brooks Nature Reserve lake was today found in distress by a dog walker, who thought the swan may have a broken leg. The RSPCA were called and were met at the lake by two committee members from the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group (TBNCG), Sara Messenger and Gill Smith.
The hen was, fortunately, not on her island nest or in the water but on the bank being protected by her mate. Alan, from the RSPCA checked the bird over and although a broken leg was ruled out the bird was very weak and was struggling to stand and he made the decision to take the bird to the RSPCA clinic in Bristol. Although no injury was found the bird was obviously in need of treatment and has been placed on a drip, it is hoped that she will improve in a few days, if not she will be sent to specialist centre West Hatch in Taunton for further treatment.
The swans have had mixed fortunes after making Bradley Stoke their home. Last year the pair had eggs broken, were harassed by dogs, shot at by two boys with an air rifle and (with the help of another local resident), survived the attentions of three men with a large hold-all. Although they hatched five chicks, they all got caught in the weir and although dog walker Michael braved the cob and got all five out, only two survived.
To give the swans the best possible chance this year, the TBNCG spent Saturday 11th February moving the swans’ nest from the bank over to the island. Ducks and swans, unlike other birds, cannot carry anything in their beaks, so they nest by pulling nesting material into a pile. To deter the pair from using their old nesting site, the group cut down all the reeds by the lake and transported them over to the island by kayak where four triangular nests were made. TBNCG’s ‘Bird Boy’ Rob Williams reported a month later that they had been successful and that the swans were now nesting on the island.
Read more about today’s events more on the Three Brooks Blog.
Source: Press release by the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group
Photo: The female swan tends five eggs at her nest in April 2011.
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