The first time I witnessed this was as a boy, but I never thought it looked beautiful until I was older and appreciated how majestic the Swan is; clumsy on land yet moving with grace on the water.
The Swan mate for life, and the courtship involves mutual bill dipping and head posturing.
They are sociable except in breeding season, and can be very aggressive if you approach with a dog. My old Labrador, Monty, found that out when he was a pup and ventured too close.
Observing them this year was very interesting.
They pick on certain birds that are on the lake.
There are different species all swimming around them, but as soon as a Canada goose comes into the area, the Swan lowers itself into the water and pushes using it’s big feet to get up speed, quickly getting within range to attack.
This is great for me because you get some great action shots.
The male Swan is called a cob, and the female a pen.
They feed by dabbling, not diving, in the shallows for aquatic plants.
Over time I have learnt to know when the action will start, so I am always ready with the big zoom pulled back – if not the Swan fills the frame (and more). Many images captured only half the swan.
The action can be anything from taking flight to landing, and after they preen themselves they always rise up out of the water for a fantastic display of power.
An amazing bird that I was always told belong to the Her Majesty The Queen of England.