We stopped by to check on the nesting Mute Swans again this weekend and were pleased to find that the birds were doing well! The weather was beautiful and cool on this early afternoon, which made it a joy to photograph these elegant and beautiful birds.
Arriving at the lake we discovered one swan out patrolling the open waters of the lake while the other was dozing on the nest, dutifully incubating the pair’s clutch of eggs. This juxtaposition allowed us the unique opportunity to photograph the occupied nest with the with the other swan passing by far in the distance.
Before long it was time for the incubating swan to rouse for a little nest maintenance and a good stretch. The big white bird stood and began to rearrange reeds around the perimeter of the nest. She was next seen pulling big clumps of vegetable matter from the water and laying them on the rim of the nest. Next came a vigorous wing flapping—surely a good way to get the blood flowing again!
The other swan took note of this activity and began to approach the nest. A narrow channel through the reeds leads to the nest, and along the way the swan encountered a Great Egret. The smaller bird needed just a little encouragement to move out of the way, and the swan was glad to give it.
Once back to the nest the pair greeted each other briefly and then traded responsibilities. The relieving swan made itself at home atop the nest, and the other made its way toward open water.