20th July 2015 by emmadurnford

20th July 2015

Today is the start of the 5-day long 'Swan Upping'. This is the annual census of the swan population on the river Thames when cygnets that have hatched this year are counted, caught and ringed to get an idea of the Mute swan population on the river.

I decided to watch the procession as it passed through Shepperton Lock but almost missed it as they arrived nearly half an hour early. Sadly they only found seven cygnets on the first stretch of the river which is much lower than expected and explains their early arrival. The procession is led by the brilliantly titled 'Queen’s Swan Marker' - David Barber.

The event ends in Abingdon on Friday evening and aims to count all the cygnets hatched this year.

Here's a press article I put together with some more photos - http://www.demotix.com/news/8152872/first-day-annual-swan-upping-shepperton-lock-surrey#media-8152754
So many boats and people!
July 21st, 2015  
Wonderful, colourful capture of the boats and people, but how sad that there were so few cygnets in the first stretch. What is the reason for that thought to be?
July 21st, 2015  
@tristansmum Sorry, I'm way behind! The reason for the decline in the swans is thought to be down to the cygnets being attacked by Mink (introduced into UK by accident) and also lead poisoning from fishermen :-(
August 13th, 2015  
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