Friday, 12 May 2017

Nice Swan Surreal

George alerted me to the fact a Whooper swan had appeared at Shibdon Pond on Thursday (11th). Unusually late for this species which should be off to arctic climes by now, but strangely this year there's been a few kicking about in Northumberland recently as well.

I headed down there after the kids had been fed and watered at tea-time, and found said Swan distant at the far end of the pond. Being a lazy so and so I decided to wait for it to come to me rather than head along to the feeding platform, so had a gander at everything else on the pond to see what was about on this pleasant spring eve.

Ten minutes and the Whooper started making its way round the back or the island, along the far bank of reeds and slowly but surely into photographic range. Have to say it was slightly surreal to be photographing a Whooper Swan while all around it Swallows and Sand Martins were dancing close to the water's surface, a clash of seasons if ever there was one.

First sight - Whooper at distance 

Eventually made its way along the far shore

Drifting in amongst the throng

Standing proud on a backdrop of gulls

Just missed the 'heart' shot with a mute swan - my fault

Showing the typical stiff-necked pose as opposed to the mute's s-bend

Last shot before the heron spoiled the serenity

Lots of 'Common' stuff also on the pond :

Common Tern

Common Gull

Common Sandpiper

My time was almost up when a Grey Heron flew across the pond from the right and put everything up in the air, quite a spectacle as there were by now a good few hundred gulls loafing around, numbers had built up slowly over the last half hour or so, but within a matter of half a minute the pond had emptied. The cormorants remained on the raft but gulls, terns, the few waders and many ducks had departed. Then I realised even the Whooper was notable by its absence. The 7 mute swans were now assembled at the feeding station end, but no sign of Harry Whooper (Boomtown Rats c1979)

Footnote - George tells me 'Harry' was there Friday morning, coming close in to the feeding platform, a tame one? May explain it hanging around blighty :-/

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