A swan has made her nest within feet of a busy road.
Most motorists driving in and out of Emsworth are unaware they are passing so close to the attentive mother.
And sheltered by the side of the road bridge over the top end of the Town Mill Pond, she seems to care not a jot about the roar of the traffic on the A259 Havant Road as she tends to the half-a-dozen or so eggs in her nest.
Emsworth resident Lorraine Clode, who lives next to the pond, said that the swan and her mate had chosen the spot on their arrival about three or four years ago because of the fresh water flowing into the pond from Westbrook.
But the pair have had a dramatic effect on the local swan population.
‘There were about 60 swans on the pond until this pair arrived’ said Lorraine. ‘But they were so aggressive that they soon drove the others away. There is just one other pair left, who they seem to just about tolerate.’
In previous years, the swans have built a nest mainly out of rubbish they retrieved from the pond.
But this year their home is far more des res.
‘A local resident put some freshly-cut reeds next to the pond and the swans seized upon them. Their nest is looking a lot tidier this year!’ said Lorraine.
She said that the nesting swan was proving to be a big attraction, but appealed to people not to throw bread to the birds.
‘I’d urge anyone wanting to feed them to bring along bird seed. Bread just attracts rats and it is a major problem.’