Saturday, May 29, 2010

Update#6 Meet The Family on Second Day of Viewing


IMG_0526_  Second Day In View

Second Day Of Viewing On May 20th 2010

There are  8 Cygnets all together but only 5 can be seen here. They are getting restless for adventure and today will be just that. These little cygnets have a lot to learn about their surroundings and the world around them. There are many dangers that these young ones know nothing about. Chances are not all of them will survive. But for today this will be a day to remember and venture out with the guidance of their parents.




IMG_0586 First Time In The Water 

8 Little Cygnets First Day On The Water

I had a couple of hours between clients and so I headed down to the Bay on my lunch hour. I got there just in time to witness their first swim. I was thrilled as you can imagine as I watched them follow mom ( the pen), into the water for the first time. The day before was the first time mom showed off her babies in the nest. If you look closely you will see 7 cygnets in the water, and one stayed behind between the nest and the water, on the right side by mom.



IMG_0612 One Needed Coaxing 

One Little Cygnet Needed Coaxing

This reminds me of me on my first day of school. There was no way I wanted to go and I made it known as many little one do.  Here I witnessed the reluctance of one tiny swan who appeared afraid and not ready to venture out into the water, even with mom and dad their to help him/her every step of the way. Mom had to come back out of the water 3 times until finally this little one had enough courage to follow her into the water. I am sure that the other siblings and dad also encouraged him/her to join in on the new adventure. This is all part of the life of a swan.



IMG_0624 Finally in the water after 3 attempts

Finally The Little Cygnet Is In The Water

Yes, Bravo!!! I was so happy this little one finally had the courage with the help of a very patient mom to join the rest of the family for their first swim.



IMG_0634 Meet The Family

Meet The Family Of Swans

Here they are , the whole family and they are ready to go for their first swim. Mom decides to have a quick snack before they leave and dad has already checked the whole area and gave notice to all, that this is their territory, and anything that gets in their way will face the consequences, including death. These swans don’t fool around. They are very protective of their young, and need to be as their are many dangers out their. I have seen them in action and will discuss the topic a little more in another update. These swans don’t mind people as long as they are respectful and don’t cause them to think you are a threat to them or their young. They swam around showing off their young and were so proud of them. They are so loving and affectionate to their young and to each other. The adult swans make this really cute sound that sounds like a puppy. I guess you could call it “Puppy Love”.

After being in the water for about a half hour they swam back to the nest. Before the cygnets even got out of the water the pen (mom) got up out of the water and checked the nest and area to make sure their are no intruders that are a threat to the cygnets. The Cob (Dad) stayed with the young ones in the water always watching for danger, and when they see that it is safe the young ones went up by the nest and the cob followed them up unto the land by the nest. There they all cleaned their feathers, etc. The cygnets huddled together outside the nest and dried off in the sun and fell asleep as mom and dad watched over them. It was very touching to see. I was able to see and capture all this before I left to go back to work. This was a wonderful birthday present to see my family of swans after waiting so long for their arrival, I got to witness their first time on the water.

The swans have been such a Blessing to me , during this time in my life. I have so many pictures to sort  and I am so far behind in my updates. At some point I will add more pictures and updates. I have been busy working , dealing with my dads passing and my sons up and coming wedding . I have a mixed bag of emotions that I am dealing with right now but I am fine. Yes a little stressed but that to shall pass. Today is my sons birthday and at the same time we are going to a Jack and Jill for my son and his bride to be. I have so many things going through my mind and things to do. I hope you all understand why I haven’t been able to visit much at the moment but will when I can.

Well I had better go and get ready for my day. It should be a lot of fun as well as emotional. Lord help me on the day of the wedding. ha! I guess I am a typical mom. Although Ed just turned 31 today, he will always be my baby, although he is an adult and has become a wonderful man and I am so proud of him as well as all our sons.

Well there you go, just a few of my thoughts and observations. Hope you are all well and have a wonderful day.

xx’s Dianne (dsphotocats) :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Update On The Swans #5



IMG_0218 Baby Cygnets Have Arrived

On May 19th , after working all day I came home and grabbed my camera and a packed dinner that my husband had made for me  to eat on the way to the Bay. I have been observing these swans almost every day since the beginning of April. I didn’t want to miss the arrival of the new born babies , which are called Cygnets. I got a pleasant surprise on the day before my birthday. What a wonderful birthday present this was. :)



IMG_0219 Safe Under Her Wings

I couldn’t believe my eyes …… finally they had arrived and this was the first time they were visible to see. I am not sure when they were actually hatched as they were well hidden in the nest. They are very tiny at this point and not quite ready to leave the nest. You can’t tell in this photo but there are 8 baby swans.



IMG_0221_ The Announcement

I called this photo, “The Announcement”, because it was like she was announcing the arrival of her babies, to all who were in view. These swans were and still are the center of attention by many people who walk along the water front trail. Many people came with their cameras hoping to get a few good pictures of them, just like me.

Lets not forget the geese family who also played a major role in the drama which took place from day to day. I will try to add more pic’s of them also in the near future. I am behind in my updates. I have so many photos to sort through , plus I am still going down as often as I can to keep up with their progress.



IMG_0228 The New Family

Here is the proud parents with their new family.

I have much more to show you and hope to do another update soon.

I added some interesting facts below if you are interested. I have learned so much by observing these beautiful birds and have started also to do a little web searching to learn more.  Here are a few things I learned. I hope it helps you understand the nature of the swans. Some of you may already know these facts. Well until next time, you all have a great week. Hope all is well.

Dianne (dsphotocats)  :)

Mute Swan Facts

Intelligence and memory: Swans are highly intelligent and remember who has been kind to them, or not.

Behaviour: Swans respond in kind to gentle and considerate treatment. They don’t arbitrarily attack people, and will only bite if they feel threatened. They are more aggressive during the nesting season because they need to protect their nest, eggs and babies. Nesting season usually starts in March and lasts a few months until the cygnets can launch out on their own.

Vision and hearing: Mute swans have sharp vision and hearing.

Sounds: Although they don’t have a “call” they have a remarkable assortment of sounds to convey a broad range of emotions, from a gentle ‘bleat’ through a range of puppy-like barking notes, and a head-to-tail long snort sometimes combined with head-raising and feathers fluffed, to register delight.

How to recognize a male from a female: Male and female look alike, but if you look carefully, you can tell one from the other:

1- Males are larger than females;

2- The knob at the base of the male's upper bill is larger than the female's knob. By the way, it’s this knob that distinguishes the mute swan from all others;

3- The neck of a male is thicker than the neck of a female.

Mates for life: Swans usually mate for life, remaining together through the year, but “divorces” have been known, and if one of a pair dies, the survivor usually seeks out a new mate, and the pair remain devoted.

Mating: Swans begin to breed between 3 and 4 years of age. It’s a special treat to see swan mates “displaying” during the mating season, gracefully touching bill-to-bill and breast-to-breast until a perfect heart shape is formed, or gently intertwining their necks.

Eggs: They lay from 5 to 10 eggs that take from 35 to 42 days to hatch. The female does most of the egg incubation, but every now and then the male will replace her for a while so she can have a swim and a ‘bite to eat’ in the lagoon.

Cygnets are usually pale gray with gray legs that turn black as they grow, but there is a European sub-species or variant known as the Polish Mute, where the cygnets are white, with pink legs and feet. This coloring is due to a recessive gene.

Food: Swans eat aquatic vegetation and insects, even tiny fish and tadpoles. Because they can plunge their long neck well below the water’s surface, they’re not in competition with ducks and smaller waterfowl for food. They actually help the smaller birds when parts of plants they’re eating float to the surface.

Size and weight: Mute swans weigh from 6.5 – 13 kg (14 – 30 pounds), are about 160 cm (5 feet) long and can have a wingspan up to 2.5 meters (8 feet).

Neck: A mute swan’s neck has 23 vertebrae, more than any other bird.

Feathers: A swan has some 25,000 feathers

Lifetime: A swan in a protected environment might live as long as 30 years.

Population: Although the North American Mute Swan population is now around 13,000, there are fewer than 1,000 in Canada, and these are divided between southern Ontario and coastal British Columbia (Source: Canadian Wildlife - Vol. 13, No. 4 - Page 22).

A male swan is called a "cob"

A female swan is called a "pen"

A baby swan is called a "cygnet"

A group of cygnets or eggs is called a "clutch"

A group of swans in the wild is called a “herd” while those in captivity are called a “fleet”

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Day God Called You Home 05/17/2010






God looked around his Garden and found an empty place.
He then looked down upon his earth and saw your loving face.

He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest.
His Garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering, he knew you were in pain.
And knew that you would never get well on earth again.

He saw your path was difficult, he closed your tired eyes,
He whispered to you "Peace be Thine" and gave you wings to fly.

When we saw you sleeping so calm and free of pain,
We would not wish you back to earth to suffer once again.

You've left us precious memories, your love will be our guide,
You live on through your children, you're always by our side.

It broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone.
For part of us went with you on the day God called you home.

Author Unknown

It is a beautiful , sunny morning and I heard the birds singing in the distance. I had a quiet morning, just reflecting on my dad’s life, did some reading and quiet prayer. I have many thoughts and feelings and I am taking things as they come. I need to get up and get going and enjoy this beautiful day that the Lord has given me. I have my moments and grieve I will, but I am getting on with my life as my dad would want me too. He is getting on with his life in his new home. Someday we will meet again and he is ever in my heart and memories. If I did not morn that would mean I didn’t love him , and I love him dearly. It is because of my mom and dad and their love for each other, that I am here and have life.  I am ever grateful for the gift of life. May I live my life wisely and to the fullest. This is the first day of the rest of my life. This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.

I want to thank each and everyone of you from the bottom of my heart. You really did and do make a difference with your outpouring of love, prayers, support, words of sympathy, encouragement, kindness , scripture verses, photos, graphics and so much more.  It means more to me and my family than you will ever know.

God Bless each and everyone of you.

Love and Gratefulness

Dianne :)

P.S   I hope to check on the swans later today. I was down yesterday and so far I haven’t seen any baby swans. Mom is still on the nest and dad is sticking pretty close.  I will keep you all updated.

Have a Beautiful Day!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Update #4 On the Swans and Canada Geese



IMG_5547 All Four On The Rock Island 

Being Neighbourly??? What’s Going On Here? (May 2/2010)

If you look closely you will notice the Male Swan and Male Canada Goose are both on the rock island with their mates. This is the first time I have seen all four of them coexisting on the rocks at the same time . Usually the swan doesn’t allow the male goose to be their as they are so territorial. Something is up.

I took these photos two days after the big fight on my last update, when the male goose was no longer going to be pushed around and kept from his mate.



IMG_5557 Canada Geese  

I was there no longer than ten minutes when Mother Goose got up off the nest and headed towards the water and Father Goose is right behind her. If you look just below her you will see what appears to be baby chicks. It appears that Father Goose is checking to make sure no one is left behind in the nest. I noticed their is one out of the seven that tends to wonder on his own from time to time. There is one in every crowd. He is an adventurer. :)




IMG_5559 Time For A Swim 

They are checking to make sure it is safe before they enter the water.



IMG_5565_ 7 Little Chicks

The parents are always on the watch for danger to their young chicks.

I was in awe and quite thrilled to be there watching this beautiful family of geese. I am not sure how many days old they are. I do know they were well hidden in the camouflage of the nest and under mother goose herself.




IMG_5584 Swans Looking On

The Swans Look On

For a time the Geese Family are allowed to show off their newborn family and be on center stage.



IMG_5638 _ Daddy's Boy...

If you look behind Father Goose you will see the little adventurer. I call him Daddy’s Boy.




IMG_5650 Baby Geese On Shore

Here they are on shore . Father Goose and the other two were just out of my range. I couldn’t talk them into standing in a nice orderly fashion so I could get the perfect family portrait. They didn’t seem to mind me being within camera range though. :)



IMG_5656_Baby Geese On Shore To Explore copy

All these photos were taken with my 28- 300 lens, without my tripod. The lighting was tricky and challenging at times and I sure could have used my tripod. I had decided to ride my bike down to the Bay and check on the Nesting Moms. I was surprised to see these beautiful Baby Chicks. If I had of known I would have driven down in the van and taken my 170-500 lens.



IMG_5705 Confrontation

Here we go again. Just as the family of geese were heading home to the nest the male swan had other plans. At this point I was really concerned about the geese and their safety, and so was Father Goose. Mother Goose headed back to the shore for safety.




IMG_5726 Mother Goose and 7 Chicks...

They have arrived back on shore. Now what?



IMG_5765_ On Guard

Father Goose followed his family back to shore and stood on guard. The swan came back and pushed them even further on shore. At that point both parents stood on guard as the baby chicks stood all huddled in a circle. Satisfied the swan swam back closer to his nesting mate. At this point I decided to make a mad dash home on my bike, grabbed my 170-500 lens and drove back to the Bay. By this time the male swan had gone way off for his nightly swim and the geese were back safely on the nest. I thought that was it for the night but waited a few minutes longer hoping for another look at the chicks through my lens. It appeared they were all back safe and sound in the nest with their mother keeping them warm and safe.



IMG_8503 Mother Goose &Baby Chick

As I stood there all of a sudden this little one came up from the nest . Was it the little adventurer I do not know. I was so happy to get the opportunity to get one last shot and this was it. I believe that God decided to Bless me once again.

I went back the next morning as I didn’t have a morning client which is rare. What did I find when I got there? The family of geese had left the nest never to return. I think they moved for their safety. I looked high and low all along the Bay shore and they were no where to be found they were gone. I think they worked their way to the east side of the bay into the marshes. I do hope to see them again but will never know for sure that it is them. I hope and pray they are all safe. It was quite the adventure and I was so Blessed to be part of it and share it with all of you.

Every night after work I go down to the Bay to check on the swans and so far no sign of little baby swans. I am hoping to get the chance to photograph them also. The other night I came home from work and my dear sweet hubby had packed me my supper to take to the Bay with me. That is part of the reason I haven’t been around to visit many of you. I have been working , sleeping , eating , and a few other things plus keeping an eye and waiting for the rest of the story.

Have a Great Day!

Hugs and Smiles

Dianne (dsphotocats) :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nesting Update #3 on The Swans and Canada Geese


IMG_8272 An Intimate Moment

An Intimate Moment

No signs of Baby Swans yet and these photos were taken last Friday Night . This is the first time I saw her get off the nest. She got up and went to the edge to be near her mate. She then went for a short swim while he stood by the nest to watch over it.



IMG_8299 Mother Goose is Busy Doing Something

Mean while Mother Goose just got up and is checking something in the nest. She seems preoccupied  with something.



IMG_8299 A Closer Look

Could it be possible that her chicks have hatched or in the process. Maybe it is my imagination but I think I see a couple of chicks heads in the camouflage of grass , sticks and feathers. What do you think? I never noticed that until tonight when I cropped this photo.



IMG_8307 Not Backing Down

There is definitely something different as the Father Goose is not backing down and not leaving his mate or nest.



IMG_8309 Father Goose Not Backing Down

The fight is on and this Male Goose is not backing down like before. Talk about facing your giants.  The swan may be bigger but this goose has something worth fighting for. He is putting his family first with all his might. His family comes first and he will do whatever it takes to protect them.



IMG_8319 Protecting The Nest

The mother goose has left the nest to come to help her mate. The father goose stands in between her and the male swan.



IMG_8320 Wing To Wing

The are now wing to wing and I think the male goose is trying to get the swan to follow him away from his mate and their nest. Look at the difference in size.



IMG_8329 Turmoil

The female goose actually came out to help her mate and all three were in the air for a short time. I missed getting the shot of all three of them. Everything happened so fast. Here she is heading back towards the nest to stand guard.



IMG_8330 No Backing Down 

This was something to watch. I couldn’t  believe what I was witnessing. I have never seen anything like this before.



IMG_8333 Your My Hero

The end of the fight and no one appears to be hurt. That is totally remarkable. I look at this photo and I think it is as if she is saying , “You are my Hero.” Mates for life. I think we can learn a lot from nature.

We all have giants to fight from time to time. Who is your hero? Who or what do you have that is worth fighting for?


It is really late and I have to get up for work in the morning. I am sorry I haven’t been around to visit some of you and will when I can.  I have another update but it will have to wait. I have been going down to the Bay almost every evening after my workday to follow what is happening with the Nesting Swans and Geese. This is to be continued another day.

I hope you enjoy following along. I there is anyone who reads this but has not read the updates before this one, please go back so you will be able to get the whole story. Upgrade 4 coming soon.

Have a wonderful day and God Bless You all.

Dianne :)  dsphotocats

Related Posts with Thumbnails