The call of the river

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16 February 2016

There were still things to be done in the kitchen today but the sun was shining and the river was calling. After a week of painting and cleaning I didn’t feel up to steep hills so decided on a gentle climb through Hum Hole. From there it would be more or less down hill all the way. CJ sensing a coffee stop at the Swan Garden centre, decided to come along. Continue reading The call of the river

When you stop looking…

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1 December 2015

If November had had a theme it would have been rain and swans. Now November is over and done with I’m hoping one of those will have disappeared with it and you know very well I’m not talking about the swans. The beginning of December also brought the need to think about Christmas presents and I had a bit of a creative idea that involved a trip to the Hobby Shop next to the Swan Garden Centre. Originally I’d planned to drive there to save time but there was blue sky and sunshine outside so I took it as an omen that I should walk. None of the things I needed to buy were big or heavy after all and I had all the time in the world. Continue reading When you stop looking…

A whole new cygnet hunt

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2 November 2015

This morning I was looking through some of the posts I’d missed on the Southampton Heritage Facebook page and could hardly believe my eyes when I saw a picture of the black swans on the Itchen with five little cygnets. This is more unusual than you might think. The black swan, Cygnus atratus, is actually a native of Australia and New Zealand, not England. The first black swan arrived in 1791 as an ornamental bird and they became quite popular in zoological gardens and private bird collections. Over time a few escaped and wild birds, like the ones on the Itchen, all have their origins in captivity. With so few in the wild, breeding pairs have always been a rarity and until 2005 just twenty pairs were reported to be breeding throughout the whole of the UK. At the last count, in 2011, this number had risen to twenty eight. Continue reading A whole new cygnet hunt