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