Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Swan Watch

Some time ago I posted about the artificial wetlands that have been created throughout the new subdivision where I live.

They have been created for a number of reasons, but mainly for controlling stormwater to prevent excessive erosion and scouring of natural waterways. A bonus is a good deal of green space through the urban area.

This small wetland is down behind our local supermarket.Many of the old River Gums (some hundreds of years old) have been left in placeThere is another tangible spin off: wild life has begin to call them home; or at least visit.

Birds like, Coots Black Duck And HeronsAre there most times I go past.

But just recently, down behind the reeds,A pair of swans has begun nesting.You can see in this piccie she has her eye on me, although she isn’t really worried as I was quite a distance away using a telephoto lens.

Australian black swans build a platform of sticks and vegetation out in the water to incubate their eggs. A typical clutch contains 4 to 8 greenish-white eggs that are incubated for about 35–40 days.

I am planning to check on there progress over the next few weeks.
Hopefully, I will be able to photograph the cygnets soon after they hatch.
If everything goes well I will post on the swans’ progress every Sunday until the babies are grown, or they leave the area.


Theresa Milstein said...

I've never heard of creating artificial wetlands. The pictures show they did a good job.

The ironic thing is that in New Orleans, they've put up dams, causing a shrink of wetlands. That's what made Hurricane Katrina a bigger disaster. And they still haven't learned their lesson.

Old Kitty said...

Oh this is brilliant!!! The wetlands look lovely - and so glad that the wildlife have moved in and perfect that the old trees have been left too.

Black swans here are a rarity - let alone nesting ones so it's BRILLIANT that you have these beauties just there with soon to be cygnets!!!

I look forward to seeing more of these swans and babies soon!

Take care

Jemi Fraser said...

What a terrific idea! It's so nice to hear of more green spaces being added - sensible and lovely.

Wendy Ramer said...

Very cool. I'd love to see the life cycle of a cygnet egg. I'll bet baby swan are as adorable as grown swan are beautiful.

heidenkind said...

I have never seen a swan in person. Therefor they seem very romantic and exotic to me. :)

Theres just life said...

Looking forward to watching the swans through the eyes of the camera. Can't wait for next Sunday.

Christine said...

Artificial wetlands in urban spaces seem like a brilliant idea, a win/win for both the environment and for people.

We see white swans here on the river, but not black. Look forward to the Sunday pics.

Kathleen Jones said...

Your wildlife photos are fantastic Al. I'm glad little bits of land are being conserved for the original inhabitants!
How's the book coming on? Got a date yet?

Al said...

Hi Theresa,
We have environmental protection legislation in every state now. One of the things that covers (in Vic) is run-off from urban areas. The wetlands are designed to capture or at least slow run off so it doesn’t cause un-natural erosion.
In a lot of Oz we actually have the opposite problem to that in New Orleans, with too much silting of rivers and coastal waterways. These are part of the solution to that issue. We aren’t perfect in Oz (by a long shot) but at least we are beginning to think about some of our impacts.

Hi Jennifer,
They are great, and this one is new, so it has a long way to go. They just get nicer and nicer as they mature. The old trees will benefit from the wetland s too, this area used to be quite swampy before it was drained for farming. The river gums will like getting their toes back into some wet ground.
Did you know that the black swans you have in the UK are actually transplanted Aussies? The black swans are common down here, basically anywhere you have water you will see them, even if only as visitors.
We have a few transplanted whites down here (brought by the early settlers) but they essentially don’t survive in the wild.
I’m hopeful that we should see some babies before too long. As long as no one’s dog bothers them they should be OK.

Hi Jemi,
Thank you! It just came to me that people might find it interesting. I know I will!
Green is good, the more the better!

Hi Wendy,
Thank you! They are gorgeous when they are tiny, when they get to be ‘teenagers’ they aren’t quite as cute. But you can see where they are going to end up!

Hi Tasha,
I kind of think of European white swans as ‘romantic and exotic’. Our black swans are common, very beautiful, but common so not too exotic down here.

Hi Pamela Jo,
I hope it all goes well and we get to see some babies soon. I can’t wait either!

Hi Christine,
They are a simple, clever idea . Win/win is certainly it. We need to do a lot more, but at least it is a start.
There are a tiny number of transplanted black swans in the UK, but they are pretty rare. I’m looking forward too!

Hi Kathleen,
We have a mixed history, a long history of national parks (American model not UK) but urban areas have been pretty bad until recent decades. Patches are a start, so we need to be optimistic.
The book staggers on. I am waiting on a proof, if everything is good with that it will be just a couple more weeks before all is go.

Ann said...

How exciting, I will look forward to the updates.

The wetlands revival is just wonderful.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I can't wait to read about the swans' new family. What a great Sunday series, Al. Love it! And your pictures are so crisp and clear -- you are a wonderful photographer :))

Alyssa Ast said...

Beautiful pictures. I would love to be surrounded by wildlife like you have posted images of. All we have out here is snakes and spiders lol. Great post!

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Those are fantastic pics. Makes me want to bring along my camera when we take our walks along the creek at the end of our street. I rarely remember to.

I don't know if my husband has telephoto lens. We have ducks and herons. No swans, though.

Indigo said...

Absolutely gorgeous. Can't wait to follow the progression of the swans. (Hugs)Indigo

Kimberly Franklin said...

I love those pictures, especially the tree ones. For some reason, I just love pictures of trees!

Susan Fields said...

We have a pond in the park by our house that I pass quite often. This spring my sister and I took a walk past there and saw at least three mommy ducks with their little broods swimming along after them. It was a wonderful sight! I'm looking forward to your pictures.

Al said...

Hi Ann,
It is exciting, I’m looking forward to the challenge of tracking the swans and babies.
It is nice when things are done better.

Hi Nicole,
I can’t wait either. Hopefully all goes well for them!
Thank you about the piccies. Of course part of the secret is to take heaps of piccies and pick the best :-)

Hi Alyssa,
Thank you!
We are lucky, but we have our fair share of snakes and spiders too :-)

Hi Amanda,
Thank you!
Please take your camera, I’d love to see piccies of you local wildlife.

Hi Indigo,
Thank You!
I can’t wait either.

Hi Kimberly,
Well trees are more than just a bit special.

Hi Susan,
Sounds like you have a nice spot, aren’t new ducklings adorable?
New cygnets are pretty cute too.