On a nest

Can you see the bird on the nest? I think it might have been a coot or a moorhen, but it was hidden under the overhanging branches of an alder tree, floating on the small lake at Westport. We also saw two Swans with eight cygnets swimming behind them. It’s that time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when nature renews itself. You see ducks with their ducklings too. I hope we get hedgehogs in our garden again too. Their babies are called hoglet’s.

Cygnet

Cygnet under the weeping willows at Westport Lake this weekend.

A Cygnet is the name of a young Swan, this will be one from last spring. It’s white feathers are starting to come through. As it moults after winter it should lose the brown feathers and become fully white. Like in the story the Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson, where the duckling is in reality a young Swan.

I wanted to feed the wild birds while I was there but the Wildlife Trust are not selling bird food. There is bird flu in the country and when they come together to feed it can spread between the geese and ducks and swans, moorhens and coots. So sad to see. Hopefully they will be OK and the population will recover soon.

Swanning about

At this time of year wild birds need food. But sadly some of them are suffering from Bird Flu. It’s hard to know which ones are ill unless they display odd behaviour. I’m not sure what you should do, but we regularly go to our local Staffordshire Wildlife centre so I think it’s best to ask them for advice.

There are so many viruses around these days, including Swine Flu, Sars, Mers and other illnesses. I think if there is a vaccination against the ones that harm humans they should be used. Not just for rich countries, but for everyone. Rich or Poor. But we should also take care of wildlife. There is too much harm in the world. We need to find a balance.

Black swan

Black Swan seen today. My hubby went up to it and stroked the back of its neck! I’m surprised he didn’t get pecked!

I heard that these birds were introduced from abroad. Perhaps Australia? They are mostly all black with red beaks, although there are slight amounts of white in places on them. They are slightly smaller in stature than the normal swans we see. Mute or Hooper Swans? I’m not sure if they can interbreed.

I’m sad that I didn’t get a better photo.

Swans protecting Cygnets

We saw this family of Swans on our walk round Westport today. The Cygnets are almost adult size now and are stretching their wings and legs and are starting to change from soft down to white plumage.

As we stood and took photos several people walked past with dogs. The male Swan reacted by hissing loudly. One woman and her friends had three small dogs with them. Her friends walked swiftly by but she was panicking and wouldn’t move so I asked her to hand me the dogs lead and I held it while I stood between the Swan and her dog. The Swan just hissed but didn’t attack. She got past and I carried on with my walk. X

Black Swans

Seen on our walk round Trentham Gardens this afternoon. Two black swans with red beaks, they were gathering nesting material by the side of the lake. They were not bothered by us being close, probably be ause we were not threatening them and they won’t have seen many people over the last few months of lockdown. I’m not sue what species of Swan they are. They had a few white feathers and a white line on their beaks. I wouldn’t have said they looked and different, it was not obvious whether they were male or female. It was a pleasure to see them today.

Swan

He couldn’t get at the food, the branches were tangled and in his way. Even his long and slender neck was not suple enough, and the twigs seemed to move and prevent him gaining access to the grain a walker had scattered on the path.

If only he had swum a few yards, he could have stepped out of the water to reach the food he needed, but for some reason he would not. Maybe it was the dogs that were walked along the path? Something had frightened it and made it wary. So it was that it stared at the food but never reached it. Thankfully another walker strolled along later and threw duck food into the lake. Finally sated the Swan swam away to its bed in the reeds….

Swan, Westport Lake

Longing for a walk round the cold lake, away from people, stretching my legs, getting exercise again after a month if tonsillitis. I’ve got to escape, get out, get away from crowded stores.

Fresh air, beautiful sky’s and landscapes. Snow White swans, warm down covering them, to survive the winter. Out to feed them, and the geese. That’s what I want to do. Soon…

Purple swan

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This was a drawing experiment a few years ago. It was an ArtRage oils drawing, using colours then mainly the dry marker to subdue the strength of the original brushes. You can use a sliding scale to alter the brush sizes and strength of the metallic colours, so sometimes the colours look shiny and other times matt. It’s worth playing with different tools in apps, it increases your knowledge. I’ve found some apps really difficult to use, especially if I don’t use them very often. But I will modify what I do, and play around with things to see what results I get. I end up with a series of images, then edit out ones I don’t like. Sometimes I keep all of them so I can show how my work progresses.

Cheers x