It was a double celebration at Abbotsbury Swannery as the first cygnets of 2023 chose Coronation Day to make their appearance.

The hatching of 2023’s first fluffy youngsters coincided with The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty Queen Camilla.

The little birds emerged from their shells in Nest Number 1 right on cue, and with almost 100 nesting pairs of swans, the coming weeks will see scores of new arrivals at the Swannery.

Swannery Manager Charlie Wheeler says: “We are delighted that the first of this year’s cygnets chose Coronation Day to arrive and their proud parents look very proud and regal as they tend to their new family.

“It is always a thrill when the first eggs hatch and now it’s all systems go for the next couple of months, as hundreds of cygnets will make their debut.

“Our visitors get a wonderful close-up view of the young birds and can see how attentive the swan parents are, as their youngsters grow and venture out of the nest.

“Visitors can also take part in the mass feeding sessions twice a day, which is quite a spectacle when the swans gather en masse for their lunch and tea!”

The Swannery is the only place in the world where visitors can walk alongside the nests through the colony of Mute Swans and have the chance to see the cygnets hatching, which continues throughout May and June.

As the cygnets grow throughout the summer months, visitors can see them taking to the water and learning what it takes to be a swan. By early autumn visitors can enjoy the spectacle of the juveniles learning to fly for the very first time.

The adult swans are fed on wheat grains while the cygnets are fed daily on chick crumb, and pellet full of protein, and grass cuttings. Their parents also find natural foods for their cygnets such as algae, waterweeds, and grubs.

The Swannery is open every day from 10am to 5pm. During May and June there is a Kids for £1 promotion with a full paying adult.