mdja wrote:Spent a nice while on Sunday watching a pair of swans with 5 cygnets by the weir. 4 of the cygnets were riding on a swan's back, then they all jumped off and paddled about. Not sure if they were the "Sainsburys swans" or a different pair.
After a while a couple of the cygnets decided to potter about on the bank preening themselves, at which point two little terrier(?) type dogs leapt down the bank and chomped one each.
So down to 3 cygnets. I left them with all the surviving swans/cygnets standing around looking v. sad.
At least the dog owner had the decency to immediately get on the phone to (whoever?) to report it. I think he was more surprised than anyone else. Wouldn't say the dogs were out of control or anything, they were just running around as dog do and I don't think the owners were aware of the swans at all.
I know at a lot of places they put signs up warning dog owners if there are e.g. nesting swans in the area, but they clearly don't do that in the common.
I saw the same incident though from a little further away, but a friend of mine spoke to people who were there. The dog owner was phoning the RSPCA but they would not come out as the cygnets were already dead.
Later on an RSPCA officer did come out however, and removed the two dead cygnets. Apparently some people crossing the bridge over the weir, who had not seen the earlier incident, saw the two dead cygnets and also the remaining three struggling to get on to the weir to join their parents. Thinking the remaining babies were in trouble they called the RSPCA and the chap came out.
The RSPCA officer explained to the people who were there, including my friend, that he thought the remaining cygnets would be OK. Sure enough, later on when it started to get a little dark, the three remaining cygnets climbed onto their parents backs and together they climbed up the weir to the basin. The last we saw was all five birds swimming off together downstream.
I totally agree about putting up signs - a few weeks ago a dog that was out of control, ran over and killed a moorhen in the same area by the canoe club, though the owner on that occasion didn't seem at all bothered, so maybe they wouldn't make a difference to some people.