The Swan

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.

Written by

I am 63 years old and and since a boy have had an interest in wildlife and in particular birds. I help my Dad with the rearing of young finches and other birds. I had many small birds as pets and as i got older and joined the Military i purchsed my first Camera, and fold out Kodak. Over a 22 year period i enjoyed many countries outside the uk and observed many species of birds. When i left the military in 2000, i bought my first digital camera a Canon 450D with a Tamron 70-300 and started my journey on capturing images of birds and animals. I quickly learned that there was a lot more to getting a good image of a bird, so i started to research the best settings for my camera in order to capture a better image. Over a 12 month period i realised that needed to invest in a better camera and lens and after research bought a Canon 50D and a 100-400 Lens. It was 2013 when i really got to grips with the setup and came across a lovely Short Eared Owl. From that meeting i started to concentrate on Owls as they fasinated me. From Canon to Olympus i recently jumped ship again to Sony. The variety of birds i have captured over a 10 year period is vast and at present i have a wildlife hide in lancashire where most of my images are captured.

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