Shoppers heading to the supermarket to pick up a Christmas turkey at the weekend were greeted with a bird of a different variety.
A family of young cygnets was found at Asda’s car park in Stenhousemuir by officers from the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The animal welfare charity was phoned on Sunday by concerned shoppers who noticed an injured bird. When Inspector Louise Seddon arrived, she found a cygnet holding up a queue of traffic in the car park and his brothers and sister nearby.
Louise said: “It appears their parents flew off and left the cygnets to fend for themselves as they are almost fully grown.
‘‘However, a new pair of swans moved into the pond on Saturday and they were refusing to let the cygnets share their new home!
‘‘Every time they tried to return to the water they were forced back into the car park, so they had to be removed as there is a busy road nearby.”
The cygnets were unharmed and are now recovering at the SSPCA wildlife rescue centre in Fife.
Centre worker Colin Seddon said: “The cygnets are all doing fine and enjoying the sanctuary of our paddock. One has a slight deformity to its leg and is probably the one that was originally reported to us.
‘‘However, we think it may have had this from birth and seems to be coping fine.”
The birds will be released into the River Tay where they will benefit from supplementary feeding over the winter and should then go on to find mates and establish territories for themselves.
Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed animal should call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.