Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Had my usual battle with the mute swans. As soon as they see my camera, they do precisely the opposite of what I'd like them to do. They might be in a tight little huddle and then suddenly all disperse, or they turn their backs or even dive partially under the water.
This couple and the two offspring they managed to rear last summer, now coming into their adult plumage, are still hanging around as a family group. They are usually on the canal somewhere between Saltaire and Dockfield in Shipley, where I think their nest site originally was.
Some while ago (before Christmas) I saw them one evening. One of the adults had a long thread of fishing line trailing from its bill. It seemed to be distressed and was trying to claw at it with its foot. Quite upsetting to see... I came home and googled 'swan rescue' and found that there is a local charity called Yorkshire Swan Rescue, based near York, so I contacted them. Local volunteers knew of the particular swan family and their approximate location. First thing the next morning, two volunteers came out and checked on the swans. They even reported back to me, to say that they had seen them all and that all were in good condition and none of them had any fishing line trailing. The bird must have managed to dislodge it by itself, thankfully. I was very impressed with the organisation and made a donation to them to help with their work. Swans are such beautiful birds, and so faithful to their mate. I love to see them on the canal and it's good to know there is someone available to help when necessary.