Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Bonny Swan O

Almost as soon as I arrived at this pond, I saw the swan across the pond take to the air and disappear into the foliage on the edge of the pond. I thought perhaps she was going to the smaller pond on the other side of the railroad track. While the tracks are not photogenic, it does keep the pond somewhat isolated from the general public. I don't know who owns the pond, but it is not park property of any kind.

After a very few more minutes, I heard some geese honking and, sure enough, four circled the pond and dropped in. I heard one say, "Why, this is a lovely pond. Why have we never stopped here before?" It was only then I realized I hadn't ever seen any geese in this pond — although the other, smaller pond always had a fair-sized flock.

I don't think they were there five minutes when the swan decided to take off. The geese looked on, admiring how gracefully she became airborne.

It was about at this point I think they began to realize their presence was not welcome on the Royal's pond.

The geese also need room to get into the air, so it was a good thing they started to leave before she reached them.

Who knows what the swan might have done had she gotten to them first. Notice how she doesn't bother the ducks. They didn't even flinch when she became agitated.

Now I know why I never see geese on this pond. And that is a visual lesson in why Maryland would like to extirpate the Mute Swan population. They are extremely aggressive and out compete most other species while doing damage to the health of the submerged aquatic vegetation, which they eat. They are very prolific and the population can grow exponentially. In England, they may be considered the property of the royals, but in the United States, they have been removed from federal protection.

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