Black Swans in an unusual place
My wife and I join a friend on a morning walk every weekday. On our way home we pass a small dam about half a kilometre from our home. This dam was constructed on a vacant block of land by our local council several years ago. It stores storm water from the nearby streets. Some areas near here have a flood mitigation problem only discovered about five years ago during an extremely heavy downpour one afternoon. The council workers pump water from this dam to use in watering street trees and to dampen road works where necessary.
I’ve kept an eye on this small reservoir ever since it first contained water. Generally all I see is a few Pacific Black Ducks, Straw-necked Ibis and a collection a Masked Lapwings (which have been seen breeding there). Welcome Swallows are also regular visitors, and I am sure the local population of White-winged Choughs use the wet mud on the edge of the water to construction their mud nests. One one occasion I also saw several Black-tailed Native-hens.
A few mornings ago I was surprised to see several Black Swans gracing the water. This species is not all that common around here, though I have seen several recently at the nearby Rocky Gully Wetlands, about three kilometres to the east.
One day I will get around to making a list of all the species I’ve seen in this dam.
And then I will need to find a way of encouraging the swans to fly over our land so I can count them on my garden list.
Coming from the Southern Highlands of NSW I remember my Dad shooting black swans on the Wingecarribee River using various telephoto lenses. It was impossible to get close to them. I moved to Melbourne 6 years ago and was staggered to have a mother swan with cygnets in tow practically walk up to me.
That’s correct Tricia. Sometimes they can be very shy and retiring, at other times they are very tame. The family shown in the photo was taken in one of the ponds at Floriade in Canberra last year. Obviously the huge crowds did not deter them in any way.
I’m suprised at how tame they can be also! I live on a canal, and I’ve never seen them before, until last week when a pair arrived and seem to have settled in. They’re so beautiful! I went out into the front yard to get a better look at them, and they practically sprinted through the water and up the bank and stood waiting for me at the gate! I couldn’t believe it! I have never seen a wild animal do that!
You don’t by chance live on a canal in Point Cook do you Krystle?
Thanks for visiting my site Krystle. In some places Black Swans have become very tame – I guess this is the result of people feeding them – or they are copying our ducks who seem to love picnic areas and other places where people gather.