Wistow cum Newton Harcourt Parish Meeting

Serving the people of Wistow and Newton Harcourt

Clerk: Graham Handsley
2 The Square, , Newton
Harcourt, Leicester LE8 9FQ

Tel: 0116 259 0057

9 March 2017

Julie and Martin Guiver report having seen 2 Little Egrets quite regularly along the River Sence through the Wistow meadows.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/l/littleegret/

May 2017 - Mute Swans Hatch Nine Cygnets

The pair of Mute Swans that have been sitting patiently at Wistow have hatched nine cygnets. This is the largest brood that I can remember at Wistow and set me off on a web-search to find out more about Mute Swan breeding success.

It was soon apparent that the internet is full of "false news". The first reference stated that Mute Swans lay clutches of 1 to 5 eggs. I then found references of 1 to 9; 1 to 11, 4 to 9 etc. One claim was that a brood of 13 was the largest ever recorded. Believe what you will!

The best article I found related to a detailed study in Staffordshire in the 1970's. This provided results from a large number of nests with between 1 and 10 cygnets. One of the conclusions was that large broods are less likely to all fledge successfully; possibly because of insufficient food being available. Only 44% of the broods of nine cygnets in the study area successfully fledged all nine.

Whilst juvenile Mute Swans can look like Danny Kay's "ugly ducklings" most people are delighted by these very young cygnets. I am sure that the Wistow birds will be well watched as they are already a magnet for photographers.

David Scott

PS If you go to have a look, also look out for the obvious Grey Heron nest which contains at least two well grown and noisy young.

May 2017

Green Woodpecker enjoying an ant fest in The Square.

(Thanks to Pete Follows)

July 2017

Great Spotted Woodpecker from Pete Follows, "visits the feeders in our garden in The Square most days"