Calls to Bute East Dock (Atlantic Wharf) in Cardiff have not been uncommon over the years, but usually they come from either Amanda or Yvonne whom we can describe as our ‘eyes’ in the area, and they miss nothing which happens on the dock!
The call on 28th October from Amanda was to say Yvonne was in a dreadful state having just rescued a young adult female swan from the north end of the dock following a concerted attack by not only the resident adult pair, but also their cygnets. Having got her head stuck over the top of some vegetation growing from the side of the dock wall, the rescue itself was quite straightforward, although one did get a little wet!
Having had this kind of experience, swans are usually a bit subdued, but then, wouldn’t you be …?! Anyway, she was taken into care, and settled down at our sanctuary, and was soon eating.
Two days later, we had a call from just outside Ross on Wye; a cygnet had clipped some nearby telephone cables, had landed on the flat roof, and appeared to be ‘stuck’. Well, that’s over 40 miles away, but we did our best. As we arrived, we were met by a cygnet actually walking up the lane to meet us! Chris told us he had dropped off the roof, literally, seconds before we arrived. In the circumstances, capture wasn’t a problem, and he came back to Newport with us. His injuries were very superficial – the odd graze to his feet, but badly hurt pride!
In general, swans flourish better if they have company, but to start with, these two birds pretty well ignored each other. However, not for long! Even although their origins lie at least 50 miles apart, such a close bond has now formed between them; they are totally at ease in each other’s company – they are constantly chatting to one another, and indeed to anyone who brings them more food!
Sooner or later they will have to go – together, of course – but when it happens, it will be a terrible wrench. That said, this represents two very successful rescues.