Black Swan on Ice

March 18, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

I recently found a lone black swan on a local lake, coinciding with the period of snowfall we had here earlier this month. The combination of black and white was irresistible, so I spent a couple of hours with it looking for interesting photos.

Black Swan & Frozen LakeBlack Swan & Frozen LakeBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.

 

Black swans are indigenous to Australia but like many exotic species, they've been released in the UK without too much impact on our native ecology. They're a relatively rare sight in the UK, so they make for an interesting find.

Black Swan on WaterBlack Swan on WaterBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.
Black Swan SwimmingBlack Swan SwimmingBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.

 

At first the swan was sticking to the edge of the lake, where in a patch of unfrozen water, so I took the opportunity to get some close-ups against the ice of the frozen lake behind.

Black Swan Close-UpBlack Swan Close-UpBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.
Black Swan Close-UpBlack Swan Close-UpBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.

Black Swan CurveBlack Swan CurveBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.

 

But what I was really waiting for was a chance to get some wider shots. After well over an hour, the it finally wandered across the middle of the lake, and I was able to take these something showing a little more of the icy surroundings.

Black Swan Wandering Frozen LakeBlack Swan Wandering Frozen LakeBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.

 

In 2013, there was a pair of black swans here, who nested and raised cygnets. But I hadn't seen them since. For a while there were was one in nearby Bedford town centre. Five years later, this lone individual has surfaced.

Black Swan on Frozen LakeBlack Swan on Frozen LakeBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.

 

I think this a female, as their necks are more slender than the males. But it's hard to be sure.

Black Swan PortraitBlack Swan PortraitBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.

 

Black swans a noticeably smaller than the more common mute swans we have in the UK, especially when you see them side-by-side. I didn't take any photos of them together, but I did take a few photos of the mute swans on the same day. Although far less unusual as sight than black swans, they still look lovely combined with the snow & ice.

Mute Swan in WinterMute Swan in WinterMute Swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.
Mute Swan on IceMute Swan on IceMute Swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.

 

Mute Swan on Frozen LakeMute Swan on Frozen LakeMute Swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.
Mute Swan Close-UpMute Swan Close-UpBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.

 

Sadly, I don't expect the mute swans to tolerate the presence of the black swan once nesting season comes around, so I may not get another chance to photograph this individual before she moves on. Even so, I think I've got a good return for this encounter, and I'll always be on the lookout for a repeat opportunity.

Black Swan On IceBlack Swan On IceBlack swan, on a frozen Lake.
March 2018.
Nature photography, Bedfordshire.

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Post by George Wheelhouse, 2018.

 


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