Loch Flemington, Highlands The mute swan is asleep on her nest, while the swallows are wheeling and criss-crossing each other in flight

As I sat on the extreme western end of the loch, two scenes unfolded before me, one tranquil and the other hectic. In the former a female mute swan, the pen, was asleep on her huge nest, which was partially obscured by the remnants of last year’s reed bed. She would probably have been on her full clutch of eggs – five or six of them – and they are huge at 15mm x 74mm with very thick shells.

The male, the cob, was “in attendance” – her guardian – but asleep out on the open water. Then he was suddenly alert as something appeared out of a nearby sedge bed. A moorhen made its run across the water and took off with legs trailing. The swan went back to sleep.

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Source: Guardian Environment