Swans at Brayford Wharf

I work and live in Lincoln and I consider myself quite lucky to live in such a wondrous place with lots of wildlife around. The main office is based on Brayford Wharf (if the map below doe snot show, refresh the browser window):

There are many species of bird who reside on the main expanse of water, such as the Mallard ducks. I have already seen one group of ducklings with their mother and she was guiding them through a group of hungry swans – I didn’t see any of them get eaten. I wasn’t expecting to see any hatched ducklings this early.

I unfortunately wasn’t able to get a good shot of them as they were too far away and the camera I had with me at the time my SONY NEX-7 only had the 18-55mm lens attached – I am still waiting for the 55-210 lens that I pre-ordered back in November to be shipped :()

I went out last Friday with my D3S and 70-200+1.7x to see if I could get any better pictures. The swans are quite interesting this time of year as they are looking for mates.

The males are displaying their wings:

To the various females around:

There are some juvenile swans on the Brayford:

The one in the picture above and below is probably around 2 years old as he/she has nearly shed all of his/her brown feathers.

It will be another 2 years before this swan seeks out a mate and starts breeding; Swans mate for life.

You may have seen swans who lift their feet out of the water:

This is normal its like where we cross our legs; additionally the large surface area of the foot is used for body temperature control, absorbing heat from the sun if needed.

My last swan picture in this post is technically a “butt-shot” buts shows a swan diving for food:

Note the claw on its large foot – I wouldn’t want to mess with this guy (which by the way is totally illegal and will lead to prosecution).

As I stated at the start of this post, there are other birds on and around the wharf. Such as the last of the black-headed gulls:

There is also this goose:

I have seen this goose before,it is probably an Embden goose – a domestic goose bred for food; this one probably escaped at some point and is now living in the wild around the Brayford Wharf. They don’t normally have brown heads though; there is a Wikipedia entry here.

And as always the ever present Feral pigeon:

This is one of the better (not so inbred) specimens and he has rather helpfully landed on the edge of the wharf for me which makes this shot pleasing to the eye.

Finally I will leave you some links if you would like to read some more about swans. I’ll start with my nest watch posts from last year:

  • Urban Wildlife Photography (30th April 2011) – click here
  • Swans Nest Update 2 (18th May 2011) – click here
  • Swans Nest Update 3 (1st June 2011) – click here
  • Swans Nest Update 4 (6th June 2011) – click here

The next two links proved useful in providing some data into the research I did for this post:

  • The Swans Sanctuary’s FAQ, here.
  • The Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue website, here.

If you use the data at these sites, you should consider a donation.