They’ll be back! Expert says weather has forced Lincoln swans out

Walking along the Brayford, it is becoming increasingly difficult to spot our beloved swans on the waters, but one Lincoln expert has said the swans will be back!

Clare Barnard, a PhD researcher studying Wildlife Conservation in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln has said that despite a poor show of swans this year, they will return.

Photo: Marc Freeman

One reason why the swans haven’t nested on Brayford Pool this year could be the ‘extreme weather’ Clare told The Lincolnite.

“As far as I am aware the swans are thriving in other watery habitats in and around Lincoln and this should not lead to the assumption that the habitat on the Brayford as it stands is unsuitable for them.

“We have experienced some rather extreme weather fluctuations so far in 2017 which could have had an effect on where the swans chose to nest this year.

“When the cygnets reach maturity and begin to disperse and when the annual migration takes place in the winter months we could see a resurgence of swan numbers in the city centre.”

A thriving habitat

Despite a lack of swans on our pool, the rest of the wildlife on the Brayford is ‘thriving’, with the waterways teeming with fish and invertebrates.

Photo: Marc Freeman

The Canada Geese have also raised chicks successfully on the university campus side of the pool this year and even an otter was sighted in the vicinity back in February, which Clare says is a ‘good indicator that biodiversity is healthy’.

Keeping the Brayford alive

Although the rest of the Brayford is thriving, there have been a number of reports, including animals dying due to fishing equipment and terrapins being released, which could create a decline in wildlife in the waters.

Clare added: “The recent unnecessary death of a cygnet was a tragic example of why discarded line and other fishing paraphernalia must be disposed of properly.

Photo: Igors Grinkevics‎

“Additionally, following on from reports of terrapins being released into the city waterways it is vital that owners of invasive exotic species also act responsibly if they can no longer keep their animals.

“Some invasive species are predators and can threaten the survival of our native species while others out-compete the natives for food resources, although there is no evidence that this is currently the case in Lincoln’s waterways.”