February 28, 2010

Proud Parents

Amongst Talkin Tarn's 'residents' is a pair of swans. Every year they produce a new 'brood' but this last year only one cygnet survived. Swans are naturally protective of their young, but this year the parents have more cause than usual with just the one youngster left to protect. The parents are never very far from their offspring but the cob (father) seems to spend most of his time with his feathers fluffed up and wings semi-arched as he swims ahead and monitors for would-be predators. If he sees another swan (and there have been several that 'drop in' to the Tarn on a regular basis) he picks up speed and swims very aggressively in their direction. I've seen this happen countless times in recent months and it's truly admirable how hard the pair work to protect the one cygnet they have left. Here is a short video clip I took where you the cob's pace visibly picks up ... the pen (mother) and cygnet following a short distance behind.