Swans of Barshaw Pond

 

Sunset on the pond

Barshaw Pond was opened on 4 October 1924 as a boating pond and is used regularly by Paisley Model Yacht club to this day, and has hosted national and international competitions.

The pond is also popular with swans who visit every day , and often dozens can be seen on the pond and taking off

and landing, which is always a spectacular sight!

Most of the visitors are mute swans. The male is called a cob and the female is a pen.

Male and female appear identical but the male is larger, with a slightly longer head and body and wider wingspan. The black knob at the base of the male’s bill swells during the breeding season and becomes noticeably larger than the females. The rest of the year it can be difficult to distinguish between males and females.

As far as we know, no swans nest in the park, so the swans you see on the pond are likely to be juveniles who have not yet found a mate, some older birds seeking a new mate, or those too old to breed. Swans in the wild live on average for about 6 years, but in captivity they can live for 50 years.

 

 

Swans normally find enough food in the wild without supplementary feeding. It is only in freezing weather that extra food can be helpful.  Many people like feeding bread to swans, but when it’s fed in large quantities, it can cause dietary problems, and is no substitute for the proper diet that the birds themselves will seek out.

Grain, such as wheat, and vegetable matter, especially lettuce and potatoes, can be fed to swans. Food should be thrown into the water to avoid encouraging the birds onto the bank.

Swans normally find enough food in the wild without supplementary feeding. It is only in freezing weather that extra food can be helpful.  Many people like feeding bread to swans, but when it’s fed in large quantities, it can cause dietary problems, and is no substitute for the proper diet that the birds themselves will seek out.

Please make sure any food is broken into small pieces, and that no other debris such as paper and plastic wrappers fall in to the pond. These item s can be harmful to the swans and cause blockages in the pond drainage system