Swans and their eight cygnets

St Helens Church
These adult swans, seen on the Mill Stream in Abingdon, have eight new cygnets. Last years juveniles did stay during the winter, but as time went on the adult male could be seen chasing them away, getting increasingly aggressive if they did not take the hint.

5 thoughts on “Swans and their eight cygnets

  1. Mike G

    Thank goodness the hydro scheme flopped or they wouldn’t have anywhere to swim. They cruise about right where the Mill Stream would have been blocked. Take a trip over to the Culham site to see what we’ve been spared!

  2. Spike S

    I expect many townsfolk said something like that when the lock and wier were first placed on the Thames.

  3. Mike G

    It goes back to 1790 with the current lock keeper’s house dating from 1928 – be interesting to find out the reaction at the time. There is a much older lock hidden in undergrowth on the Swift Ditch the old course of the river. The current channel was formed to flow through the town to encourage commerce.

  4. Rachel

    The river has always flowed past the town and formed one of the defensive boundaries of the Iron Age fort in the town centre.

    However in its natural state it had many channels which you can still see as darker marks on air photos or when it floods as they fill up and become visible.

    The Swift Ditch which has the (sadly uncared for) remains of the oldest pound lock on the Thames is another channel which was used as the main navigation channel between the early seventeenth and late eighteenth centuries.

    Bear in mind also that the natural river, without locks to manage flow, is much shallower and more variable, with sandbars, rapids and shifting water levels.

    There will have been flash locks and weirs on the Thames to control the water level for hundreds of years as the abbey ran a series of mills on the site of the Upper Reaches. They are certainly shown on the mid-sixteenth century “Monks’ Map” in the museum.

  5. Daniel

    …” The current channel was formed to flow through the town to encourage commerce….”

    Did they have a BID then too!?


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