Posts Tagged ‘swans’

Nature conservation group report for May

Posted on Wednesday 14th June 2017 at 11:14 am by SH (Editor)

The Three Brooks swans on the lake with their cygnets. [Photo credit: Graham Bloomfield]

An update from Sara Messenger of Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group.

Otters on the reserve

I’m not sure which of this month’s news I’m most excited about. At the beginning of the month, the cat was well and truly out of the bag when Jen Ladley managed to video a family of the reserve’s most ‘otterly’ cute visitors, a family group of two otters and their two pups. Although we’ve known for years that otters frequently visit the reserve, it was decided not to publicise their presence. Although we have many times left out our wildlife cameras to try and get a picture of these shy nocturnal creatures, we’ve never managed more than an occasional blurry photo. Even if you’re not lucky enough to actually see an otter, you can still know they’re around as they have a habit of leaving their spraint (polite term for poo!) on top of rocks or tree stumps. I do recall from our recent Bio Blitz that it smells like jasmine tea!

Back in November, we received a call from a local resident whose fish had been taken from his pond, killed with a single bite to the head and dragged away under his fence, which does seem to suggest that the otters had been helping themselves to a free lunch.

We’ve also at times found evidence of mink on the reserve, but we’ve not seen them for a while. As otters will kill and eat mink, we assume they’ve either been predated themselves or have moved on, which is good news for our water voles and our rabbits. (In a survey it was found that 95 percent of a mink’s stomach content was rabbit.)

You may have wondered why Wessex Water had cleared the banks of all vegetation months before they started work but this was to discourage our water voles from nesting in that area as we all want as little disruption to the wildlife as is possible.

More: Swans and cygnets | Dawn Chorus | New committee »

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[Forum] Call for locals to help protect swans’ nest in nature reserve

Posted on Friday 4th April 2014 at 12:12 pm by NatureLover (Forum)

Swan tends eggs in nest at Three Brooks lake, Bradley Stoke.

Yesterday, while walking my dog in the nature reserve, it was lovely the see that the swans had laid an egg and were nesting in the bullrushes near the path and little bridge leading up to Juniper Way. Today, however, I was saddened to see that someone had thrown large sticks into the nest and the egg had gone. The swan was still trying to nest and sit on the sticks expectantly.

Whoever did this should feel so much shame. I don’t know if the swans will be able to lay another egg this year but thought that if they did, it would be a good idea to set up a watching brief close to their nest to deter thugs from destroying these beautiful creatures’ nest. This could be simply a rota of local people willing to sit in close proximity to the nest for an hour at a time to guard it. What do other people think about this? With so many local people enjoying the nature reserve I would hope to have many volunteers. I would happily organise something like this.


Photo: Archive picture (from 2012) of a swans’ nest at the lake in the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve, Bradley Stoke.

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Bradley Stoke Nature Reserve swan found injured

Posted on Thursday 26th April 2012 at 6:28 pm by SH (Editor)

Injured swan at the Three Brooks Lake, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

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.

More: Volunteers had moved swans’ nest over to island »

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Mixed fortunes for the Three Brooks cygnets

Posted on Sunday 15th May 2011 at 4:43 pm by SH (Editor)

Nesting swan at the Three Brooks Lake, Bradley Stoke

Journal readers have been sending in their photos of the arrival of cygnets to a pair of mute swans at The Lake in the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve.

The swans’ nest was sited at the side of the lake, close to the stone footbridge leading into the reserve from Juniper Way.

Five eggs were laid in the nest and, following an incubation period of around 35 days, five fluffy grey cygnets duly arrived at the end of April and they were soon seen out on the lake swimming with their proud parents.

Sadly, three of the new arrivals disappeared a few days later, the rumour being that they perished after falling down the weir at the far end of the lake.

Further perils await the surviving cygnets when they learn to fly in about four months time. Crash landings and collisions with overhead power cables often lead to fatalities at this crucial time, according to an informative article on the Fairford Swan Aid website.

Many thanks to Steve Gibbard and Annette Rumbelow for sending in photos of the newly-hatched cygnets.

We’ve put their photos, together with some of our own, in The Journal’s PicasaWeb gallery: album; slideshow.

Readers with more information to share about Bradley Stoke’s resident swan family are invited to leave a comment on this story. Photos may sent to the email address on our Contact Us page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Swans and cygnets at the Three Brooks Lakes, bradley Stoke

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