First Baby Swan Hatches in Abbotsbury!!!
9:29am 16th May 2013
(Updated 11:12am 16th May 2013)
The first baby swan has hatched at Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset with hundreds more on their way.
The fluffy cygnet was born at 7:45am today (Thursday 16th May).
The baby swan is on a nest with 6 other eggs and 2 more nests are expected to start hatching in the next few days.
According to a 600 year old tradition the hatching of the first swan is meant to signify the first official day of summer.
The Abbotsbury Swannery is the only place in the world where visitors can walk every day through a colony of mute swans, see cygnets hatching and participate in mass feedings at 12 noon and 4pm.
Swanherds noticed the first signs of hatching when the pen (female swan) on nest number two became restless and began hovering over the nest, to allow the emerging cygnet more room to peck his/her way out of the egg. The pen is continuing to turn the remaining six eggs, until they finish hatching.
Nest 7 is expected to hatch later today.
The eggs in nest number 12 are expected to hatch in the next day or two.