A trio of recent hatchlings are finding their feet at a North East wetland reserve as now the third brood of a pair of black swans only introduced at the site in May 2021.

The proud parents have performed a sterling job laying and protecting their clutch of eggs, three of which hatched successfully at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s (WWT’s) Washington site, on March 14.

Two of the youngsters had a rough start, needing veterinary input immediately after hatching.

But, following the swift treatment and with plenty of tender care from the WWT Washington’s expert team of keepers, all three appear to have successfully pulled through and so far seem to be doing well.

The Northern Echo: Trio of recent black swan hatchlings being watchfully observed by their mother at the WWT

As their third brood, the trust keepers say the adult swan duo, normally to be seen in the site's tranquil Close Encounters area, are proving dab-hands at ensuring their successive cygnet hatchlings make a good start in life.

Dan Morrison, the Collection Manager at WWT Washington, said: ‘We’re really pleased to see our black swans have nested and successfully hatched three cygnets again this year, a sign that they’re a happy and healthy pair.

“While it’s still early days for the youngsters, we’re cautiously optimistic that they’ll thrive and return to Close Encounters in the next few weeks."

The Northern Echo: THree recent black sawn hatchlings at the WWT's Washington site

The family was relocated from their usual habitat in Close Encounters, to temporary off-show accommodation during the sensitive hatching period.

It allowed them time to bond and adapt to life as a family of five.

The Northern Echo:

The temporary move not only shielded them during their most vulnerable stage but also enabled the WWT team to closely monitor their behaviour and growth.

It is a phase which can last anywhere between two to four weeks.

They will remain “off-show” for between the next three and four weeks to safeguard them during their early stages.

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But regular visitors are urged to keep monitoring WWT Washington’s social media pages for updates on the progress of the cygnet trio and to find out when they will be making their first public appearance in coming weeks.

The WWT Washington site, on Barmston Lane, Pattinson, is open 364 days a year, between 10am and 4.30pm.

Further information is available via wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/Washington, or by ringing 0191-416 5454.