Friday, 16 November 2018

More Than Halfway Through November!



It's no secret. I don’t like November. It’s a month of sad anniversaries and things-going-wrong.

But something nice! Earlier this year a pair of swans had eight cygnets. We didn’t think they’d manage to raise all eight safely, especially as some are what are known as Polish Mute Swans.

I didn’t know this until I was chatting to our local swan lady at 5 am during an early Dusty walk in summer (she had just come from feeding them). She said the Polish swans are often not as healthy. You can tell the difference as they don’t have the usual brown plumage and their legs and feet are greyish pink.

She also told me that male swans lose all their flight feathers and don’t get them back until it is time to teach the young to fly. She was fascinating to talk to, telling me how she got into swan rescue – I could have chatted with her all day!



We’ve watched the youngsters grow and now they are almost the same size as their parents. We’ve seen them take their first tentative flights and watched as they got bolder! One day all ten were flying and the parents landed on the dyke, but the kids carried on!

You could almost hear the parents muttering as they took off again and gave chase. One went to head the kids off while the other flew round behind them and they herded them back to the dyke. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get a photo of them in the air. I did get a wonderful one of them all on the sun spangled sea – except I didn’t. When I checked my photos when I got home, I’d just taken photos of the sea and completely missed the swans. I do miss having a viewfinder especially on a dazzling day!!

The other day Scout went down to the edge of the dyke where the swans normally sit and for the first time ever, she went deaf when I called her. The next thing we knew, she’d jumped in. The water went right over her head and she panicked and scrabbled her way out again. She’s paddled before, but that was her first swim.

She raced back up the bank to us then the reason for her panic came into view, ten beautiful swans.

The other day she was chased round the field by two small dogs. Two very small dogs. They were smaller than Westies and she was genuinely terrified. She has no concept of how big she is and is still only 10 months old.

She is lovely though and so tall that Dusty can walk underneath her.



I’m still working mainly on my laptop downstairs as I still can’t sit at my desk for too long and sometimes working on the laptop has its disadvantages... or advantages depending on how you look at it!



12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info on the swans, I did not know about Polish swans, imagine losing their flight feathers to take care of their young!

    And the dogs, how lovely!

    XO
    WWW

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    1. I was surprised about the flight feathers. It felt like something I should have known. The dogs are lovely - most of the time :-)

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  2. Raising all eight is incredible – the parents and your new friend the swan lady have clearly been working hard.

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    1. I must admit when I saw eight I said they'd never manage to raise them all and keep them safe. The dad is quite a character - when his missus was on the nest he used to patrol the top field with his neck stretched right up just daring anyone to go too close!

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  3. What a fabulous post. So interesting about the Swan Lady and the swans and how uplifting they were all raised. Oh poor Scout. The original gentle, and terrified, giant, bless her. Sorry you're still having problems and having to use the laptop. But hey, look at that face. No more typing, Mum, I want a hug! So sweet - but rather distracting!!! :-) xx

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    1. Thanks, Sue! Dusty's always pressing keys - I keep hoping that one day he'll write a bestseller :-D xx

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  4. How lovely that the Swans have been getting watched over and how knowledgeable the Swan lady is- I'd not heard about the feather thing.

    Scout sounds a big softie. And Dusty looks to be saying you're meant to be writing, or fussing him of course. :D

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    1. Dusty doesn't like me writing, Carol - he thinks my time would be better spent cuddling him :-D

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  5. I loved learning about the swans - what a fascinating lady, Teresa. Losing the tail feathers - how amazing! I think Dusty could write a bestseller easily. My cat, Muffin, prefers me to cuddle him when I'm meant to be writing. He does warm me up nicely when it's chilly - but it's quite hard to reach the keys xxx

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    1. Muffin sounds lovely! A perfect writing companion. You just need longer arms :-) xx

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  6. What a lovely post, Teresa, and how fascinating to meet someone with so much knowledge about the swans. Glad you're enjoying November while you endure it! I, on the other hand, keep waiting for it to get a little colder as long as it stays dry.

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