Often overlooked, these beautiful birds are found almost across the UK. Many people delight in seeing them in their local park and many like to feed them by the river. There are of course the horrific stories of cruelty by people who should know better than to injure a defenceless bird, but this is the world we sometimes live in.
I prefer to see them in their wild environment; playing, arguing, preening, courting and most of all flying. These group of Swans at Willington were engaged in displays of rivalry, courtship and all-out aggression. They would lunge through the water, as if to be taking off, only to steam into the path of another male.
They would get up to a considerable speed before lunging forwards.
Any male in the path would be in no doubt as to the meaning of this action.
A slowing down gives way to a powerful movement of the legs and feet, making an incredible wake in the water as the Swan displays its full power and size to the other birds.
And then all hell is let loose……
Oh, but when they fly……..
…and then when they come into land….effortless.
So next time you see a Swan, in the water, or passing overhead with that whooshing noise from the wing-beats, spend a few seconds and reflect on the sheer beauty of this everyday bird.
Next time I will spend some time profiling the life of the Swan and its dedication to its family.