If I’d had my camera with me I would have taken a picture rather like this

Except the dog was four times this size, the swans were black and the cygnets were still in their eggs in a nest. In our local big park.

swan vs dog

The dog I saw today was some sort of huge Newfie type hound (think St Bernard then add in about half again the bulk). He’d ignored the fencing that the park rangers had put up at the closest point of the bank to the swans nest and galumphed into the water to check it out. He wasn’t attacking, he was just curious and doing the friendly-worried woof at the start, then he was torn between fascination at the hissing and the flapping from the swan and the rather similar flapping from the three women who were trying to get him to come back out of the shallows.

They’d just managed to get him back on dry land when the rangers drove past, zoomed down to check it out and gave them a bollocking for letting him get away into the water in the first place. Quite right, too – the dogs are not supposed to swim in the ponds, and another dog might have been much less quizzical and more vicious to the swans. Another dog could have been in great danger, too – this huge dog probably not, but swans have been known to kill smaller dogs with blows from those powerful wings.

Tomorrow I’ll take the camera for my morning walk (aiming to get out for an hour each morning). I probably won’t see another confrontation like today’s, but I’ll come back with some shots of the nest.



Categories: arts & entertainment

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4 replies

  1. You will keep on walking that way, and bring us photos of the cygnets as they hatch and grow?
    It reminds me of the times on my parents’ country block when we have walked up towards duck ponds, and saw the parent ducks flying off, quacking loudly, with “broken” wings, designed to draw predators their way. Unlike swans, they don’t stay to fight.
    And at a university I taught at a few years back, we watched each spring for the cygnets to appear on the ponds. Ducklings appeared too, but alas, they usually succumbed to the campus cats.

  2. Deborah, here’s the nest:
     
    See also some coots getting the spring friskies on:

    She doesn’t want to be caught, mate
    an elegant gliding pelican on the same pond:

    The clouds covered the sun, and all of a sudden the pond became a mirror. 
    and the same pelican a little earlier less elegantly disposing of a fish:

    Closeup! (original wider view) 

  3. That pelican shot is wonderful. I didn’t realise their bills were translucent. They’re fantastic photos, tt, and I am a bit envious of your lovely morning walk. It must be a little easier getting out of bed and underway knowing that all this is waiting out there for you.
    [Makes mental note to self: must find good morning walk hereabouts.]

  4. I didn’t know that their bills were translucent either until I downloaded the pics. While I was snapping I could see the fish wriggling as the pelican tossed it about in its bill, but I didn’t think that I’d managed to actually capture it until I saw this on the puter. I love that you can actually see its lower fin stretching the skin of the bill.

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