There once were some ugly ducklings ….

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…. 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.

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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!

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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

                    

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

               

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

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

…. the proud adult swan.

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