Sefton Park’s Grebes And Swans

Yesterday we saw the grebes on Sefton Park lake in Liverpool. There were the two adults who caused such excitement when they arrived some three years ago, plus two quite large chicks, all bobbing up and down happily in the centre of the lake. Then, a little further on we saw swans, a pair with four cygnets this year.
Like the grebe chicks, the cygnets are now almost full-size, but just a bit more fluffy and woolly coloured than their parents.
The grebes
This is the first time we’ve actually ever seen the grebes’ family; perhaps the young ones lurk near the island at the top end of the lake until they’re large enough to survive in more open water – though even today we saw the parents feeding their young straight from a catch of minnows.
Cygnets and swans
The swans, however, are less shy and their young have been ‘on show’ for several months. Perhaps their size is adequate protection without further caution. This year four out of an original five cygnets have survived, which seems to be about par for their annual breeding activity.
So how many cygnets must this pair of swans have produced over the years? And where do they all go?
Read more articles on Liverpool’s Great Parks & Open Spaces: Sefton Park
Liverpool’s Sefton Park, Swans, Herons And Grebes
Sefton Park, Liverpool: Winter Solstice 2006
Cherry Blossom For May Day In Sefton Park, Liverpool
Friends Of Sefton Park

Posted on September 10, 2007, in Liverpool And Merseyside, People And Places, Sustainability As If People Mattered, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Where are the swans?
    When I moved to Aigburth Drive some years ago I started to get to know Sefton Park which felt like my own enormous garden. I have walked in it, taking photos of the trees and birds at different seasons, enjoying the changes and the beauty of it all. In particular I was thrilled to see the swans building their nests and raising their families of cygnets in front of my eyes, as each year till now there were more and more of them.
    I have been away for a few months but heard about the renovation works under way, so went out today to see how it was all progressing.
    I guess there is a plan, I suppose in the end it will be for the good of the neighbourhood, but right now, in the middle of the summer, indeed on one of the few summery days there have been this year, the park looks devastated.
    Worst of all, I could see no birds of any kind on what is left of the lake, no ducks, no swans at all.
    I feel sure some provision has been made for them, but where have they gone? And will they ever come back?
    [Note from Hilary: Thanks for this Lilian. You’ll see some more info on what’s happening if you take a look at my recent blogs here on Sefton Park.]

    Opening date: Sunday 29th June 2008
    Two superb private gardens previously unseen by the public, plus ninety city allotments, will open their gates to for the first time as part of the celebration of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year 2008.
    The garden of the University of Liverpool’s Vice-Chancellor, Drummond Bone, has previously only been seen by the select few at Graduation garden parties. The large garden in the Toxteth area of Liverpool boasts a rare collection of old shrub roses, a grand formal terrace, grape vine and mature shrub borders. Contact Vivian Bone: 0151 728 8375
    Nearby is the new and developing garden of one of Liverpool’s old merchant houses, Park Mount, overlooking Sefton Park. Here gardener Jeremy Nicholls has been creating a glorious garden using vibrant colours and adventurous planting combinations, with some surprises and many rare plants.
    Contact: Jeremy Nicholls 0151 733 8205 / 07802 676242
    The ninety allotments in Sefton Park will show how well a city plots can provide fruit and vegetables of the highest quality, offering inspiration to other city gardeners. The site includes many interesting community facilities and a plot adapted for disabled gardeners. The site has featured in national TV and film productions – see the ‘Bread’ shed where Lilo Lil held her trysts on plot 89. Contact: Giulia Harding 0151 727 4877
    All the above will open their gates for charity on Sunday June 29th 2008, under the auspices of the National Garden Scheme.
    Sefton Park Palm House will be at the centre of the celebrations with rare and unusual plants for sale, musical entertainment and afternoon tea, and demonstrations from the National Association of Flower Arrangers. Contact: Rosemary on 0151 726 9304.
    Admission is £4.00 with tickets available at all four venues on the day.
    Contact Information:
    Christine Ruth, Press Officer, National Garden Scheme, Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. 0151 727 4877 / 07740 438994

  3. unfortunately the swans are busy building up a nest near the island in the boating lake- it is quite moving to see them working so hard and co-operatively -but how safe – if the mud dries out will it make the eggs and babies accessible?
    They are either so confident of their size, so determined, or so silly that they have taken no notice of the lack of water and the contractors etc. This may be one year in a dozen when they don’t make it?

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