12:40PM, Monday 15 July 2013
The Royal Swan Upping began on the River Thames today and is expected to reach Windsor this afternoon.
The event, which runs until Friday, is the annual census of the swan population on the river, and is overseen by David Barber, the Queen's Swan Marker.
On announcing the dates for the Upping, Mr Barber said: "The Thames' swans are nesting later than usual due to the prolonged cold spring we have experienced this year. The number of cygnets has declined over recent years, primarily due to the spring floods that washed away many nests, and of course there have been several outbreaks of duck virus enteritis which killed many breeding pairs of swans.
"Fortunately, the situation is looking more positive this year as we have received many reports of nesting pairs with eggs or cygnets. Late hatching can present its own problems; small cygnets are more susceptible to injuries caused by fishing tackle when the fishing season starts.
"However the health of cygnets will be assessed during Swan Upping week when they will be examined for any signs of injury and given treatment if necessary."
A number of schools are expected to visit the river during the week to learn about the census and ask questions.
The Swan Upping started this morning in Sunbury and is due to pass through Shepperton Lock and Penton Hook Lock, before reaching Romney Lock in Windsor at approximately 5.30pm.
The anticipated schedule for the rest of the week is as follows:
Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 16):
Eton Bridge 9am - departure point
Boveney Lock 10.15am
Boulters Lock 1pm
Cookham Bridge 2pm
Marlow Lock 5.30pm
Wednesday (July 17):
Marlow Bridge 9am - departure point
Hurley Lock 10.30am
Hambleden Lock 12pm
Henley Town 1.30pm
Marsh Lock 4pm
Shiplake Lock 5pm
Sonning Bridge 6pm
Thursday (July 18):
Sonning-on-Thames 9am - departure point
Caversham Lock 10.30am
Mapledurham Lock 12.30pm
Goring Lock 5pm
Friday (July 19):
Moulsford 9am - departure point
Benson Lock 10.15am
Clifton Hampden Bridge 1pm
Culham Lock 4.15pm
Abingdon Bridge 5.30pm
See this week's Advertiser and Express papers for photos of the Swan Upping.
Are you heading down to the river to watch the census? Tweet us your photos @maidenheadads or @expressseries
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