Mute Swan

An irregular visitor to Chard reservoir in the past. Breeding has taken place on a few past occasions but success rate was usually poor. Supplementary feeding from 2011 has helped a pair to raise young successfully for several years now.

Mute Swans - Kevin Harris 5th Nov 2002

05/06/26 - Pair with 5 juveniles

14/08/60 - Maximum count of 16 birds. Again on 18/08

04/12/66 - 8 birds

19/03/78 - 9 birds

??/07/84 - Pair present

1986 - Pair & 5 immatures, although these probably did not breed at the reservoir

1987 - Pair & nest

1988 - Pair with 6 juveniles but they did not reach maturity

30/12/97 - 3 birds. Now an unusual visitor!

14/10/98 - 1 adult

03/11/98 - 5 birds, including 2 immatures

23/11/98 - 1 Black Swan

01/12/99 - 2 adults, joined by an immature bird on 3 & 4/12

27/01/00 - Single adult

28/04/00 - 2 birds

08/05/00 - 2 birds and 5 immatures on 15/05

03/09/00 - 2 birds

01/10/00 - 3 birds, 2 on 02/10 and 1 on 29/10

2001 - A good year for Mute Swans with a max of 9 on 13/05. Also a pair stayed for 3 months from 02/06 and up to 4 present throughout November, 6 birds on 11/12 and 3 on 31/12

2002 - There were 60 sightings through the year mainly of ones or twos. A pair stayed from April for 5 months and bred, but the single cygnet only lived for about 10 days. November was a good month again with a maximum of 6

2003 - 35 sightings this year of mainly ones and twos and a maximum of 7 on 23/03

2004 - 24 sightings with maxumum 5 immature birds in March.

2005 - 26 sightings of mainly ones and twos and a maximum of 3 on 12/05.

2006 - 43 sightings of mainly ones and twos and a maximum of 3 in May and September.

2007 - 11 sightings mainly singles

2008 - 89 sightings - a good year. None in January, February or October. First bird on 18/03/08 then between 1 and 5 for most of the rest of the year

2009 - 105 sightings with up to 5 birds

2010 - 101 sightings mostly of 1 to 4 birds. 8 birds on 26/12

2011 - 181 sightings through the year with up to 6 fully grown birds. A pair nested and produced 5 chicks, but these were fairly quickly reduced to one. Some supplementary feeding helped this one to grow to full size.

2012 - A pair stayed all year and raised one young, despite the first nest being washed out at the end of April. 8 birds seen 23/05, 9 adults and one juv on 28/07

2013 - A pair successfully raised 3 young from an initial 4 cygnets. Some artificial feeding helped.

2014 - A pair raised 1 young to maturity from an initial 3 cygnets first seen on 14/05

2015 - The young bird from last year remained until June, after the now resident pair produced 7 cygnets. 5 of the 7 young birds survived to the end of the year with supplementary feeding.

2016 - A complex year for the Mutes starting with the usual pair (the male ringed as AIB) and 5 young from 2015. One of the young was put down on about 10/01 as it had septic arthritis. One of the remaining 4 juvs disappeared in March and the now remaining 3 also left the reservoir in April. AIB and mate nested again and had 5 new cygnets in late May. On 06/07, the female of the pair was put down by the RSPCA as it had an untreatable sinus infection, leaving the male (AIB) to look after the youngsters. A new pair (DFX and mate with spiral rings yellow above blue) joined the resident male (AIB) on 16/11, but AIB left a few days later leaving his young behind and was last seen on 20/11. A pair was seen intermittently with the 4 young swans to the end of the year but not always the same pair. One of the pairs was unringed. On 01/12 the ring of DFX was seen to confirm identity. However on 31/12, there was one adult pair present and one of them was ringed as DKL and so was not one of the recent ringed pair.