Swan and seven eggs disappear overnight from nature spot

Swan and seven eggs disappear overnight from nature spot

The female on the nest with the male swan in the background. Picture by Darren Moston

The female swan sat on the nest on Saturday afternoon. Picture by Darren Moston

The empty nest on Sunday. Picture by Darren Moston

First published in News
Last updated

A MALE swan and seven eggs have disappeared overnight from Ackers Pit.

Regulars to the area have seen the swan pair nesting with their eggs over the past month.

But on Sunday morning only the female swan could be found with the nest empty in an apparent raid on the birds.

Carolyn Moston, who her and husband Darren visit the pair almost daily, said: "The female had been sat on them for 40 days and they were due to hatch any day.

"We were there on Saturday afternoon amd they were there then but on Sunday the next was completely empty and it looked like the nest hadn't been disturbed. 

"The nest itself is still there and there are no feathers or egg shells, they have just completely gone.

"The female is just swimming around looking for them.

"Metal signs have also gone from around the site.

"We thought maybe the swan had been attacked by a dog so we contacted the RSPCA and they said no one had been out to them."

The swans have made Ackers Pit their home for the past six years.

 

Comments (15)

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4:17pm Mon 12 May 14

rayco8 says...

Killing or injuring a swan or stealing a swan egg is an offence under UK law.

Swans belong to the Crown under an ancient charter and are also protected by the Wildlife And Countryside Act.

Swans are the property of The Queen and anyone who harms one may be prosecuted for criminal damage.

Killing or injuring a swan carries a £5,000 fine or six months in jail. Stealing a swan egg is also an offence and carries the same maximum penalty per egg

Lets hope the culprits are caught
Killing or injuring a swan or stealing a swan egg is an offence under UK law. Swans belong to the Crown under an ancient charter and are also protected by the Wildlife And Countryside Act. Swans are the property of The Queen and anyone who harms one may be prosecuted for criminal damage. Killing or injuring a swan carries a £5,000 fine or six months in jail. Stealing a swan egg is also an offence and carries the same maximum penalty per egg Lets hope the culprits are caught rayco8
  • Score: 20

4:23pm Mon 12 May 14

rayco8 says...

so the culprits face a maximum £40,000 fine and/or jail
so the culprits face a maximum £40,000 fine and/or jail rayco8
  • Score: 6

6:22pm Mon 12 May 14

Nick Tessla says...

rayco8 wrote:
Killing or injuring a swan or stealing a swan egg is an offence under UK law.

Swans belong to the Crown under an ancient charter and are also protected by the Wildlife And Countryside Act.

Swans are the property of The Queen and anyone who harms one may be prosecuted for criminal damage.

Killing or injuring a swan carries a £5,000 fine or six months in jail. Stealing a swan egg is also an offence and carries the same maximum penalty per egg

Lets hope the culprits are caught
Now wishing to, in any way, reduce the appalling nature of this act - which is certainly criminal under the Wildlife and Countryside act , but just want to point out that only certain swans are crown property.

As you say, lets hope the culprits are caught.
[quote][p][bold]rayco8[/bold] wrote: Killing or injuring a swan or stealing a swan egg is an offence under UK law. Swans belong to the Crown under an ancient charter and are also protected by the Wildlife And Countryside Act. Swans are the property of The Queen and anyone who harms one may be prosecuted for criminal damage. Killing or injuring a swan carries a £5,000 fine or six months in jail. Stealing a swan egg is also an offence and carries the same maximum penalty per egg Lets hope the culprits are caught[/p][/quote]Now wishing to, in any way, reduce the appalling nature of this act - which is certainly criminal under the Wildlife and Countryside act , but just want to point out that only certain swans are crown property. As you say, lets hope the culprits are caught. Nick Tessla
  • Score: 4

7:42pm Mon 12 May 14

rayco8 says...

I agree that it's not strictly true that the Queen owns all swans in Britain.

The Swan Upping ceremony which takes place every July takes a head-count of all the mute swans on the Thames and marks them for ownership either by the Crown or by the Vintners' and Dyers' Livery Companies, which were granted their rights of ownership by the Crown in the fifteenth century.

Technically, the Crown owns all unmarked mute swans in ALL of our open water, and the Queen only exercises her ownership rights on some stretches of the Thames and its tributaries, even though she still has the prerogative right of ownership for all the mute swans in England and Wales
I agree that it's not strictly true that the Queen owns all swans in Britain. The Swan Upping ceremony which takes place every July takes a head-count of all the mute swans on the Thames and marks them for ownership either by the Crown or by the Vintners' and Dyers' Livery Companies, which were granted their rights of ownership by the Crown in the fifteenth century. Technically, the Crown owns all unmarked mute swans in ALL of our open water, and the Queen only exercises her ownership rights on some stretches of the Thames and its tributaries, even though she still has the prerogative right of ownership for all the mute swans in England and Wales rayco8
  • Score: 2

10:19pm Mon 12 May 14

Reader says...

Whether they are protected or owned by the queen makes no difference to me. 'IF' some low life person has killed (or removed) the swan and eggs then I hope they get caught and tied to the fencing at Ackers so all the hundreds of people who are now very angry and upset can all show them what they think of them !!!
Whether they are protected or owned by the queen makes no difference to me. 'IF' some low life person has killed (or removed) the swan and eggs then I hope they get caught and tied to the fencing at Ackers so all the hundreds of people who are now very angry and upset can all show them what they think of them !!! Reader
  • Score: 11

8:41am Tue 13 May 14

Diane Robison says...

That is so sad, cruel and unnecessary. I have seen two pairs so far this year, nesting with their eggs at Dunham Park and Thelwall. It is a lovely sight but don't get too close!
That is so sad, cruel and unnecessary. I have seen two pairs so far this year, nesting with their eggs at Dunham Park and Thelwall. It is a lovely sight but don't get too close! Diane Robison
  • Score: 5

10:48am Tue 13 May 14

Diane Robison says...

Not here I hope though not sure why else they would pinch them.
Not here I hope though not sure why else they would pinch them. Diane Robison
  • Score: 1

10:50am Tue 13 May 14

Diane Robison says...

Trying to get my post amended just in case anyone goes looking.
Trying to get my post amended just in case anyone goes looking. Diane Robison
  • Score: 1

11:21am Tue 13 May 14

mrsbutton says...

This is horrible. We have spent years watching those beautiful swans & there babies.
We have used them as education for our son who loves going to see them.
Who could do such a thing!
I really hope these horrible so called human beings are caught & justice is done!
This is horrible. We have spent years watching those beautiful swans & there babies. We have used them as education for our son who loves going to see them. Who could do such a thing! I really hope these horrible so called human beings are caught & justice is done! mrsbutton
  • Score: 4

10:19pm Tue 13 May 14

Diane Robison says...

Yes it really is a shame. Hope the surviving swan finds another mate for next year; not sure how that works. Two or three years ago there were a couple who had seven babies at Heatley Mere. They used to come to the fence by the side of the playpark. I believe many of the neighbours used to watch them, we were just visitors to the park. Love watching the birds pair up, ducks can be quite fun too. Usually two males following one female!
Yes it really is a shame. Hope the surviving swan finds another mate for next year; not sure how that works. Two or three years ago there were a couple who had seven babies at Heatley Mere. They used to come to the fence by the side of the playpark. I believe many of the neighbours used to watch them, we were just visitors to the park. Love watching the birds pair up, ducks can be quite fun too. Usually two males following one female! Diane Robison
  • Score: 0

11:58pm Wed 14 May 14

Fran Butler-Myatt says...

Maybe households near Ackers pit who have ccctv cameras could check them and see if anything suspicious shows up on activities along Ackers Lane during that Sat/Sun night. So sad that we won't see the parents and signets proudly crossing Ackers Lane.
Maybe households near Ackers pit who have ccctv cameras could check them and see if anything suspicious shows up on activities along Ackers Lane during that Sat/Sun night. So sad that we won't see the parents and signets proudly crossing Ackers Lane. Fran Butler-Myatt
  • Score: 1

12:47pm Thu 15 May 14

SophieEB91 says...

I hope the despicable people who stole the swan and the eggs are caught. Swans are beautiful!
I hope the despicable people who stole the swan and the eggs are caught. Swans are beautiful! SophieEB91
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Thu 15 May 14

rayco8 says...

Diane Robison wrote:
Yes it really is a shame. Hope the surviving swan finds another mate for next year; not sure how that works. Two or three years ago there were a couple who had seven babies at Heatley Mere. They used to come to the fence by the side of the playpark. I believe many of the neighbours used to watch them, we were just visitors to the park. Love watching the birds pair up, ducks can be quite fun too. Usually two males following one female!
I found this info on "all about birds"

•The Mute Swan is reported to mate for life. However, changing of mates does occur infrequently, and swans will re-mate if their partner dies. If a male loses his mate and pairs with a young female, she joins him on his territory. If he mates with an older female, they go to hers. If a female loses her mate, she re-mates quickly and usually chooses a younger male.
[quote][p][bold]Diane Robison[/bold] wrote: Yes it really is a shame. Hope the surviving swan finds another mate for next year; not sure how that works. Two or three years ago there were a couple who had seven babies at Heatley Mere. They used to come to the fence by the side of the playpark. I believe many of the neighbours used to watch them, we were just visitors to the park. Love watching the birds pair up, ducks can be quite fun too. Usually two males following one female![/p][/quote]I found this info on "all about birds" •The Mute Swan is reported to mate for life. However, changing of mates does occur infrequently, and swans will re-mate if their partner dies. If a male loses his mate and pairs with a young female, she joins him on his territory. If he mates with an older female, they go to hers. If a female loses her mate, she re-mates quickly and usually chooses a younger male. rayco8
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Thu 15 May 14

Diane Robison says...

Oh that's something then, thanks for that.
Oh that's something then, thanks for that. Diane Robison
  • Score: 0

11:45pm Thu 15 May 14

muckerman says...

What were the "metal signs" that went missing - scrap metal theft?
What were the "metal signs" that went missing - scrap metal theft? muckerman
  • Score: 0

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