There once were some ugly ducklings ….


…. with feathers all stubby and brown

But, and sorry to use such a trite word, they are so cute!  They are amazingly fluffy with their baby down, not yet able to shed water as they will do from their future feathers.


We have been lucky enough to see them at many stages of growth, usually brought to the boat for a photo shoot by proud parents!


There has been so much on line and in the media generally about NOT feeding them bread, so I have tried them on sunflower seeds and sweetcorn …… IMG_5350

…. which the cygnets sometimes manage to pick out of the water before they (the seeds and corn!) sink too low to be reached by short young necks and beaks. I have loved how the parent swans hold back from feeding themselves while the young are eating, and seeing off any predatory ducks or geese who think they will join in on feeding time.     They seem to start quite pale in colour





…… becoming a delicate grey, with stubby little wings ……



….. until those famous brown ‘ugly duckling’ feathers arrive, but with the start of an elegant  white neck and more noble head.  


The wings begin to show as the cygnets move towards the beauty of …..

…. the proud adult swan.


Published by lesley-jane

Wife of Stewart, mother of 3, Granny of 6 (yes, I am happy to define myself by my family; I value them more than anything), and living abroad Calliope, our replica Dutch Barge, currently cruising the inland waterways of France, Belgium and The Netherlands. Retired from a couple of enjoyable careers, and now being closer to the real, outdoor me. Love water, fascinated by animals, enjoy music, support Pompey and try to find fun in all parts of my life.

2 thoughts on “There once were some ugly ducklings ….

  1. Now you have got Aileen going again. Should your boathook be able to reach near the bottom, you may be able to bring up some weed, which is the natural food for swans. Do the cygnets good, dining on the right stuff. Failing that, we all love a bacon butty, don’t we. CapstanOddieBirdieTwichie.

    Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:39:35 +0000 To:


  2. Love seeing your bird pictures. Reminds me of when we were cruising the Intra-Coastal Waterway in the Eastern US. The geese and goslings there were always able to provide entertainment.


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