Minna Kinnunen

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The ruling couple

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I traded skiing for bird watching today. Great choice! I got to witness some drama and action, and got my best swan pictures to date as well.

I used the same spot as last week and this time the swans didn’t mind me. There are more of them now, and they are too busy fighting each other over this small patch of open water to worry about people quietly sitting on the shore. I was very nearly shocked when a pair of swans swam right towards me and then started foraging for food so close that I was desperately zooming out to get any kind of composition out of the birds. But very soon I got an idea of what was going on – this pair that was the first to approach me was trying to dominate over the other swans, they were aggressive and fearless. I knew that swans can be violent and don’t tolerate other birds in their territory during nesting, but this was the first time I’ve seen such a clear display of the behaviour (even if it’s not quite nesting time as yet). I will let the pictures tell the story!

Here’s our fearless couple. They were hooting (whooping?) almost constantly, while the other swans were quiet.
They kept tight together all the time
Lovely couple
Mirror mirror
Another pair of swans with a pair of mallards. The mallards and goldeneyes didn’t participate in today’s action.
The ruling couple managed to chase some other swans to flight
The light wasn’t good, so the snowfall was a welcome decoration
Every time the ruling couple finished chasing other swans, they celebrated with this little dance
Sometimes the dance was more subtle
The ruling couple on the way towards another confrontation. Notice the new guest in the background!
One of the ruling birds giving chase
There isn’t much open water around here so the swans that were earlier chased away, had to come back
The great egret was gone, but I was happy to see a crane instead
Things are starting to quiet down
Classic swan pose

2 thoughts on “The ruling couple

  • Miika April 17, 2017 at 05:56

    Juuri sopiva keli valkoisille linnuille 🙂

  • Minna April 17, 2017 at 08:55

    Juu ehkä se tylsä valo oli kuitenkin paras valo. 🙂 Tässä paikassa kun ei ikinä hyvää valoa ole, siinä on käytännössä vastavalo aina kun aurinko paistaa. Ja sitten kun olisi aurinko oikeassa suunnassa niin puut varjostaa.

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