Swan Stretching her Wings

The Swan’s Nest on the River Moy, Ballina.

It’s been almost forty days since we first noticed a couple of swans building their nest on the river beside us. This river is usually quite deep, but for the last few months it has been quite shallow due to the dry spell of weather we’ve had. We thought it unusual that the swans would choose to build their nest in what is usually deep water.

Two Swans

A Perfect Pair

After a bit of research we learned that they can be quite particular about where they build their nest. Often they build a couple of trial nests before settling on a location. The male (cob) starts to build the nest and the female (pen) will inspect its location and structure. If she’s not entirely happy with it, the cob will find a new location and begin again.

They usually build close to shallow water where there’s plenty of natural food available. They need a location that’s safe from potential predators and human disturbance. This might explain why these two lovebirds built in the middle of the River Moy rather than along the bank.

A swans nest

The Nest in the Early Days

We’re not sure about predators, but there is a fair bit of human activity along the river. It’s a popular spot for walkers and joggers.

We also learned, that the swans can sense if the water level is rising. In order to protect their eggs from flooding, they’ll add more materials to the nest to raise it higher. We’re hoping their instincts told them that the water won’t rise too high before their eggs are hatched.

Swan sitting on her nest

The Incubation Period

Pen sitting on her nest
Soaking up Some Sunshine

Today we’re worried. The water has risen and we’re afraid that the nest is in danger. We’re guessing the eggs are due to hatch in a couple of days. So many locals are watching these beautiful swans working so hard to protect their precious eggs. I almost cried this morning when I saw how high the water has risen.

Cob and Pen minding their nest

Working Hard to Keep Their Eggs Safe

We’ve had a few hours of heavy rain this afternoon. I’ve been praying for it to stop! It has for now.

I wondered if there is a wildlife rescue group (or something) who could help the swans if their nest is in danger of flooding. As I searched the internet for help, I found some interesting information on a website called The Swan Sanctuary.

If the nest is vulnerable to natural events such as high tides & floodwater then it should be left alone so that the swans can learn from the experience – if a young couple lose a nest under these circumstances then they will learn not to build a nest so low down the next year. Sad as it is, they have to be allowed to learn from natural experiences which is one reason why it is illegal to interfere with a swan’s nest in any way.

How sad that these eggs may be lost with only a few days to go until they hatch, and there’s nothing we can do to help! Are they a young couple with little experience? I don’t know.

I’ll come back with an update by the end of the week. Fingers crossed you’ll see photos of a cob, a pen and their family of cygnets!

UPDATE:

I’m afraid I’m updating sooner than I expected. It appears that the swans have abandoned their nest of eggs.

They’re in the area but the pen hasn’t been in the nest since late yesterday afternoon/early evening.

We’re all very disappointed and heartbroken for them. Unfortunately the nest wasn’t quite high enough to save it from the water.

It’s still there and the eggs are visible but they’ve been exposed to the cold and wet for over 24 hours now.

We all assume the cygnets haven’t survived. Would the pen abandon them otherwise? Who knows?

It’s such a shame!

Meditation for Children

Meditation for Children by Shelley Wilson

I bought this fantastic little book ten months ago. Meditation for Children by Shelley Wilson. Before we got to use it properly, it went missing. I blamed a certain someone for accidentally dumping it. (Sorry)


I don’t need to remind anyone about Covid-19 and lockdown. Testing times for most people! My Little Miss Nine coped very well I have to say. She’s used to entertaining herself, and she reads and writes a lot. She loved home schooling and we were doing quite well, until I got sick. (That’s another story)

Our routine went out the window. She started to miss her friends terribly. We couldn’t visit her young adult siblings because they live a couple of hours away. I could tell she was getting bored, and even though she has her daddy and me, she was beginning to feel a bit lonely. Children need other children, just like adults need other adults.


What showed up? Her meditation book. It was like it had just arrived in the post – the excitement! Although it wasn’t a substitute for her friends, it gave us some motivation to refresh our routine, and reminded us of the affirmations we used to say on our way to school.

Continue reading “Meditation for Children by Shelley Wilson”

Don’t Blame the Hound.

Today’s post is for Grammy’s Grid. WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT LINKUP – ANIMAL 75 WORDS.

The tame stag runs, exhausted, falls down

Will he live or will he die?

One man may laugh, another will cry

Fox hunted, ravaged and savaged

Blood spills for human thrills

A frightened hare, thrown to his death

Trampled on, broken, as he takes his last breath

One goal, power and control

All for the sake of human delights

No concern for animal rights

Don’t blame the hound

Man is the animal on the ground

Image credit Pixabay

Fear V Love

This short story will be linked up at the BOTTLE – 65 WORDS WRITING PROMPT LINKUP, open March 10 to 20.

Saying goodbye was hard for Alex. But it was the biggest decision he ever made. Twelve years of drowning his sorrows in bottles of raw whiskey helped no one, least of all himself.

He could never manage to let it go, but it was different this time. He had something better to replace his fear of living without alcohol. Love. Goodbye bottle, hello Baby Sophie.

Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay

Shock

Off the Drink? Shocking!

‘Only heavy drinkers go off the drink for Lent,’ said my brother when I told him I gave up alcohol for Lent. I’m not surprised to hear this though. It’s one of the myths about alcohol that we Irish people like to believe. We also like to believe that our reputation for loving the drink is an honour. Proud to be able to drink yer man under the table! Proud to be able to hold our drink! Continue reading “Off the Drink? Shocking!”