Moments spent with Swans

Over the past couple of weeks, I have enjoyed some really lovely moments with London’s most graceful resident; the swan. We are very lucky that such a beautiful and charismatic bird is happy to live so intimately along side us humans, in our largest city.

On Wednesday I took a group of school children out exploring the Thames. When a family of Mute Swans provided us with a lovely swim by, the noise level of the group suddenly fell and the kids watched engrossed. One girl asked me “How do swans grow a long neck?”. Wow, I felt suddenly stumped! I can tell you why they grow a long neck, but how is a very different question, and one I have to admit to never having given much thought before. Children are great at asking thought provoking questions, and it made me think that there is always more to learn, even about our most familiar species.

Swan family on the Thames

Mute Swan family on the Thames, in the early morning mist. The cob (male), stands at the front, curiously investigating what I’m up to, whilst protectively placing himself between me and his family.

Swans in autumn

Mute swans remain in their breeding pairs for life, and remain together throughout the year. This pair appeared luminous on a dull autumn day.

Black Swans

These elegant black swans make a rather romantic picture.  They are not wild, but are part of a park collection in London.

London swan statue

A London statue; a celebration of swans in our capital.

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