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Last Updated: Wednesday April 06 2011 05:32 GMT

Swans get help building nests at Chesil Beach

Ricky and the swan

Ricky gives a swan a healthcheck

It's that time of year when birds make nests to lay their eggs in.

But for some swans on a Dorset beach things aren't so simple. They love the spot, but it's a really pebbly area, making it hard for them to build nests.

So wildlife experts are giving the swans a hand by gathering reeds and helping them build nests.

About 300 swans will benefit from the hand-made nests on Chesil Beach at Abbotsbury. Most pairs of swans lay about six eggs, which hatch in May.

Head swanherd Dave Wheeler, who's built about 150 triangle-shaped nests this year, said: "Building the nests and seeing the adult swans preparing for their young is magical, and a definite sign spring is finally here."

Ricky helps build a swan's nest on Chesil Beach

Watch Ricky's report

The same pairs of swans come back each year - and they nest in exactly the same spot.

"They can be quite impatient," added Dave. "They watch me building and often climb onto the reed piles before I've finished."