A rather sad event took place at Birkacre on 6th April, when the female of the pair of resident Mute Swans was found dead by one of the rangers. Known as Edwina by the park regulars, she had arrived at Birkacre in November 1992 with her mate. The male was ringed as AIJ in 1992, and the female was ringed as a cygnet in 1989 (D4D). This was later changed to HCX. The pair first bred at a pond near Charnock Richard services, just over the boundary in the Greater Manchester area. They raised four cygnets, which were ringed by Judith Smith (AIL, AIN, AIP and AIS).
Having arrived at Birkacre in November 1992, they obviously took a liking for the site as they had remained there ever since. Their breeding record in the intervening years was as follows:-
1993 All eggs addled -sent to Martin Mere for examination
1994 Hatched 21st May - 4 young raised out of 6 hatched
1995 Hatched 16th May - 7 young
1996 Hatched 17th May - 6 young
1997 Hatched 12th May - 8 young
1998 Hatched 12th May - 6 young
1999 Hatched 21st May - 4 young
2000 Hatched 27th May - 2 young
2001 Hatched 2nd June - 2 young
2002 Hatched 21st May - 6 young
2003 6th April female died leaving male with 6 eggs.
The male attempted to incubate for a short period, but eventually abandoned the eggs. A post mortem carried out evidently gave the cause of death as egg peritonitis, which is apparently something which occurs in older swans. She will be sadly missed.