This week, Grahame and I are putting the call out for members of the public who are out and about at Cullaloe, to help us out with a bit of investigating! 🙂 We are asked every year to keep a log of the swans who visit and take up residence at the Loch, but this year is proving a bit harder than usual!
As there has been a fair bit of cold weather (frostbitten toes anyone?) the Loch stayed frozen for a slightly longer amount of time than usual. This, along with similar incidencies taking place up and down the country has made it much harder for paired up swans to chose their nesting sites.
As a result of this choosing lottery, we have been visited by at least 2 different pairs of swans so far this year! And perhaps a third are there now!
As we like to know who our swans are and where they came from, we are asking for help from eagle-eyed visitors in finding out whether the swans we have visiting and considering staying are ringed or not.
So, we have begun our own CSI investigation, called CuSI Cullaloe! 🙂 This stands for Can u See It? 😉 If you should happen along to Cullaloe and you see swans on the Loch, do your best to see if there are tags on their legs. These may be metal coloured or multi-coloured. They may have numbers or letters on them, or both! Anything that you can tell us would be helpful. All we ask is that you try not to get yourself wet, stuck in mud, or disturb the swans unnecessarily! If you have a pair of binoculars, these will be very helpful in your quest to be a successful CuSI investigator!
If you are confident of letting us know whether it is the male or female that is ringed, please do so. The male is refered to as the “Cob” and he has a large bulb shaped lump that is on the join between his fore-head and beak. The female also has this lump but it is much smaller. The female swan is refered to as the “Pen”.
Last year’s swans successfully raised 7 cygnets. This year, we hope to be able to ring the cygnets so we can track their progress in the future. But for the moment, we would just like to know who mum and dad are! 🙂
Good luck and happy hunting! 🙂