I got a good look at the cygnets out walking with their parents this morning, and I'm pretty sure there are 5 of them. Yesterday evening I had the treat of watching them being put to bed on mama's back for the night. Just as much to-ing and fro-ing as you'd expect from 5 kids. There is something really special for me in knowing mama and papa feel safe enough to keep returning year after year to have their clutch near Swan Lake. This year, there is the lovely anticipation of watching them all the way through to take-off and solo flights, since there is plenty of water in the lake to get us through into January. Last year, there was so little surface area that "touch and go" landings would not have been a good idea, and the parents prudently took their children elsewhere to learn to fly--and more importantly, learn to land!
Shepherding today was the second half of what I'd planned for Monday--out of Eeyore's Patch into the Long Paddock to graze the new growth in the burn area, then back down the hill to the Lucerne Reserve. A quick graze there for half and hour or so, then into Curly Sedge Creek, where they stayed all afternoon. The sheep were certainly ready for something besides Eeyore's Patch--still plenty of feed, but after going back and forth for a couple of days I think they get bored with it. Once into the Long Paddock, they literally kicked up their heels and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the circuit. They really put their heads down in the lucerne, though by the end of the half-hour were ready for something else. Getting across the water in Curly Sedge Creek is still a bit of a challenge, as the last video shows!
Video V1 above
Video V2 above
Video V3 above