Ruston House

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Posted: 1 February 2022

It's funny! Just two days ago I was explaining how we expect a battle between swans once there's more than a pair on the lake. The most memorable was recorded as the ASBO Swan from Cambridge back in 2015.

Then, today, we witness just such an event. I became aware something was going on in the lake shortly before 15:00. I picked up my camera and went to go outside to photograph the commotion. Reaching the kitchen door I was surprised to see a swan sitting on the gravel.

Swans in Stand Off

Eventually, I plucked up courage, opened the door and walked past her(?). She gave a little hiss but didn't really object as I emerged from the door. By now it was close to 15:15. I made my way onto the decking behind the house and used the camera's panorama feature to capture all four swans at once. Unfortunately, the one I take to be the second pair's male appeared to be withdrawing from the dominant male. They were both on the bank and, from my angle, the subordinate male was half hidden by the fencing around the patio on the far side of the house.

Swans in Stand Off

After a brief stand off the dominate male returned to the water and they both proceeded to withdraw into the centre of the lake.

Swans in Stand Off

That gave me the opportunity to cross the decking behind the house and get a closer shot of the subordinate male.

Swans in Stand Off

That allowed me to confirm that, unlike the ASBO Swan event, the swan was a mature bird. In the earlier case the swan that was chased away was a youngster, still in part grey cygnet plumage and without a mate.

Swans in Stand Off

The final picture I took, only a minute later, before returning to the house was of the dominant pair making their way to the area behind the cottages. I didn't see when the subordinate pair left the lake.

As an aside, you'll see the boat is even more laden with debris that I had spent the morning collecting from the lake than it had been two days ago when I last cleared the lake behind the house.

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