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Monday, June 18, 2007

Swans-y river at Swansea

After eating my salad, and walking along the dock and river, I decided I would return to the Marina via the lock bridge, rather than heading back over the sail bridge. To my delight, as I made my way along the river, I spotted this family of swans. I wonder if they're the same family that Chris has been documenting, who are now missing from Swansea Vale? Probably not, and I guess one family of swans is pretty hard to distinguish from another.

The cygnets were absolutely adorable, all grey and fluffy. I still can't see how such beautiful creatures inspired Hans Christian Andersen to write 'The Ugly Duckling'. They're as cute as ducklings, any day.

I wonder what this one's spotted? About five minutes later, I saw a shoal of small fish right at the water's edge, just a few metres further up river, so maybe it's what this swan was eyeing up?

I tried to shoot some footage of the shoal of little fish, but all I managed to capture, from my position several metres away, was a little bit of water disturbance. If you look to the left of the orange barrier in this next video, you'll see two rocks jutting out of the water. To their left, is a single rock, just right of the bottom centre of the screen. The water disturbance near this rock is in fact the shoal - you may be able to make the shoal out if you watch this clip on the YouTube site, rather than here, and hit the full screen button at the bottom right hand side of the video clip window.

They look so graceful on the water. Seeing their awkward shuffle on dry land, comes as quite a shock, after their grace on the water.

I expected them to halt at this barrier, looking perplexed, before turning back and heading down river again.

I guess I got that wrong. They seem well used to bobbing under there.

They must also be very used to pitching up on dry land at this spot. I must admit, when the big old daddy swan waddled ashore, I panicked slightly, and headed off a little, thinking he was about to come chasing after me. I've heard swans can be very aggressive to anyone or anything that gets too close to their babies.

However, when I could see they'd just come ashore to have a rest and preen themselves, I resumed my former position. For once, I actually remembered I have a video function on my camera. I'm terrible for forgetting it, and failing to capture footage of the sights I come across. If you listen closely, you'll hear the sound of a harmonica on the following videos. Although I couldn't see its player, the sound was drifting across the river from the direction of the Dylan Thomas Centre.

I stood and watched the swans for quite a while, enjoying what had rapidly turned from a grey, wet, murky day, into a lovely, sunny one. There's something very relaxing about watching these beautiful creatures preening.

However, after a few minutes, more and more people arrived. Not wanting to be a party to disturbing these beautiful creatures, I took a few last shots, before heading for the lock bridge.

I really didn't want to leave. But I felt it was time to move on, to leave the swans in peace, and look for new sights to focus my lens on.

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