New love in Wanstead Park

The 'widowed' swan with his new mate, pictured 21 March

A male swan which was robbed of its mate in a dog attack in Wanstead Park earlier this month has apparently found new love.

The swan’s former mate, known as Mrs Hannibal, was well known to park regulars who had observed her annual breeding. As we reported last week she was a calm, unaggressive bird who loved families to visit.  She died after a dog entered the Heronry Pond.

The mate left the pond after the attack, but has now returned with a new mate, a regular observer, known as GB, has reported to Wansteadium.

“It’s looking like there may be a happier new turn of events for the male swan who lost his Mrs Hannibal – the male who at first was clearly in a depressed state, flew away but has now returned, with a new female, to Heronry Pond. A tender, tentative courtship is taking place.

“It is good news that our male has not abandoned these ponds – but we need to make sure this female doesn’t meet the same fate as Mrs Hannibal and the male’s previous mate also (also killed in a dog attack plus cygnets, in 2012). Conditions vis a vis dog danger plus low water levels are unchanged, thus these swans and other birds are still vulnerable.”