Sunday 22nd October

North side swan family. Perhaps their last family photo?

Today was a big day in the life of the north side swan family. Today was the first time that the young swans flew any great height or distance.

With the sunshine breaking through the storm clouds and a strong, gusty wind, blowing from the south, I watched as all four of the young swans circled the marsh. I saw the frantic, but powerful beats of their wings as they attempted lift-off. The strength of their wings as they gained height and circled majestically around the marsh and perhaps, the first signs of separation as they flew in different directions. Truly a big day for the young swans and their proud parents.

A special mention for one of the youngsters who has a deformity of the neck. I have observed this bird from its earliest days and have often expected it to become a casualty of nature, where only the strongest survive. Today it took that first flight and although looked a little awkward and perhaps, a little less confident than his brothers and sisters, he/she did not seem to be hampered by its disfigurement.