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 remaining 3 then 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 it was not always the same pair. One of those 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.

2017 - This year there were more birds than in any year since 1960. There were at least 10 birds (mostly 13) from mid April until the begining of August with a maximum of 15 in May. These included 2 identifiable pairs ringed as BXN & CDS and DKL with an unringed female. BXN was the dominant male who arrived in March and during August chased off most of the other swans. Even his mate CDS disappeared on 12/08 then BXN himself left 5 days later. BXN reappeared in October along with his mate CDS and they stayed until 01/12. Other identifiable swans were the pair CSB & DAC who were present in February and March, DSJ on 02/09 and the immature FAX on 29/09. FAX was ringed a few weeks before at Nine Springs,Yeovil and on 29/09 was seen at Sutton Bingham in the morning then it was at Chard Reservoir between 12:30 and 15:00 and was seen again later at 17:00 at Chard Junction. There was also a Black Swan on 05/12