Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Meet the neighbours

I was sitting on deck in the early evening, watching the generator blades spinning, when I heard a strange noise from below the boat. Curious, as ever, I went and looked over the side to see what I think has been the strangest sight I've seen in a long time. A pair of swans, filthy with mud up to their necks, squelching their way through the soft mud beside Lady Jane, making for the water which is behind Lady Jane at low tide.

Muddy swanAs you can see from the picture, these poor guys were really struggling through that mud (click on the picture for a larger view).

I'm told that the large wooden platform immediately in front of Lady Jane, which floats on the tide, is the swan's annual nesting site and that they have not missed a year on it yet. Pity, as I was thinking that it would be handy to stand on while working on the hull painting project, and I don't see the swans wanting to share it with me.

Now I don't know about you, but if I was a swan I'm not sure I would choose a nesting site which took so much effort to get to and from the waters edge if the tide was not co-operating. I think of the earache I get from Kate when I come home with muddy boots after walking the dog. Will Mr Swan have the same problem I wonder? Not that he has a dog of course.

Maybe this nesting site is at the cheaper end of the swan housing market. Still, on the positive side, I suppose predators would have a hard time of it too.

I'm looking forward to seeing the Swan family story unfold over the coming months, and will post updates here periodically.

As I've said before, the sheer diversity of things going on around Lady Jane are a constant source of pleasure for me.

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