Well actually it was the not-so-swany canal!! Yesterday Paul Ashworth and I covered most of the 25 mile length of the Montgomery Canal between Newtown and Llanymynech on the English/Welsh border. I have been ringing the Mute Swans on this stretch of canal for about 20 years now and it usually holds about a dozen breeding pairs. Due to the lack of fluctuation in water level, they usually do pretty well (unlike many on the nearby River Severn) raising about 50 cygnets a year between them. This year there were 13 occupied territories. Two of them appeared to have just one bird resident. Of the other 11 pairs, 6 had no cygnets at all, 2 pairs had just a single cygnet, 1 pair had 2 cygnets, 1 pair had 4 cygnets and the remaining pair had 8 cygnets. Sixteen cygnets in total!! At that rate I'll be able to afford to take Caroline and the kids away somewhere nice on holiday this year!
The success to swan ringing on the canal is to have a swan hook that will reach the far side!! All swans encountered were either ringed or their rings were read. You don't achieve a 100% record for many ringing projects!