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!