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In pictures: Windsor leg of the Royal Swan Upping

David Lee

David Lee

Only one cygnet was discovered on the first leg of the Royal Swan Upping on Tuesday.

The tradition, which dates back to the 12th century, sees a flotilla of six boats travel 79 miles along the River Thames checking on the mute swan population.

The royal birds on the river belong to the Queen and the conservation exercise plays an important role in monitoring the number of cygnets in the area.

On Monday, swan uppers discovered 36 cygnets between Sunbury Lock Cut and Romney Lock.

After toasting the Queen with a glass of port, they set off yesterday from Windsor and Eton Bridge but only discovered one young swan before they reached the Oakley Court Hotel in Maidenhead Road.

David Barber, the Queen’s Swan Marker, said: “There’s been a drop over the past three years but on Monday it was very positive as the number practically doubled from what we had the year before.

“Unfortunately today where we expected more we only had one cygnet.”

The swan uppers spoke to pupils from Braywood First School and Oldfield Primary School about the threats to the swan population including dog attacks and vandalism.

Mr Barber added: “We give lots of talks and I’m sure people are listening to it.

“That’s why with the educational side we’re trying to get these youngsters interested in wildlife.”

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