The Life of a Swan

There is a pond in Carriglea Shanballymore about 4km from my home and I was delighted
when a pair of swans came to make their home there in the spring. They have been coming
there for a number of years. They made a nest and the Pen which is a female swan laid 6
eggs and both herself and the Cob (the male) took turns to sit on these for 6 weeks until
they hatched out, all very healthy and it was of great delight to everybody as lot of people
visited there daily awaiting the arrival of the 6 baby signets. There were many visitors to the
pond every day as it is adjacent to the road so the swans and signets were very close for
everybody to see them. As children were off school and the travel limit was imposed on
everybody due to the Covid-19 virus, it was a great place to go and social distancing wasn’t a
problem there. After ten to twelve days it was time for the swans and signets to move on
to river, much to the disappointment of many children.
The O’Farrell & Neligan family live next to the pond so Kieran Neligan and I arranged to
move them as they would have to walk about 2km to river and the road is very busy which
would have placed the signets at risk of being run over, something that has unfortunately
happened in the past when they were left to their own devices, hence we intervened this
time to ensure their safe delivery. Catching them wasn’t a problem, as they had just been
fed and were in the stream by the roadside. We first got the parents and then scooped up
the signets into a big fishing net, we carefully placed them into my van and we took them on
their journey to the Funshion River where we released them. It was a delight to see them
swim off up the river, the whole family intact. The young signets will stay with parents for a
few months and then they will all move off and the circle of life will begin again next spring.