Occupying the ponds on Southampton Common

DSC_0430Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 500, f10, 1/640 To purchase an unmarked copy of this image, please click on this link

I had noticed that the Boating Lake was filling with water again after its annual draining, and wondered if any of the visiting swans had decided to opt for an apparently slightly easier life there. I say “apparently” because although the Boating Lake looks unoccupied at this time of year, this will all change if the two resident swans on the Ornamental Pond have cygnets. The cygnets are hatched on the island of the Ornamental Pond, but are promptly transported across to the Boating Lake, and brought up there. This means that any unsuspecting new arrivals who have decided to make the Boating lake their home will be unceremoniously turfed out as soon as the older pair get wind of their presence.

DSC_0431DSC_0431_2Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 500, f10, 1/640 To purchase an unmarked copy of this image, please click on this link
DSC_0449DSC_0449_1Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 400, f10, 1/640  To purchase an unmarked copy of this image, please click on this link

Sure enough there were four youngish swans on the Boating Lake, and things weren’t going very peacefully, as both of the males felt that this was to be their new territory. After a short interlude of physical negotiations one pair departed, leaving the winning couple to settle in.

DSC_0089DSC_0089_3Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 1250, f10, 1/640 To purchase an unmarked copy of this image, please click on this link
DSC_0087DSC_0087Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 1250, f10, 1/640 To purchase an unmarked copy of this image, please click on this link

I returned to the Cemetery Lake, to see if the two as yet unaccounted for visitors from yesterday had managed an overnight stay. However, all was quiet, with only the two established swans present, and acting as if nothing had happened. I stood for a while, trying (and failing) to figure out some of the different types of seagull, being glared at by the tufted ducks, and wondering vaguely why the moorhens looked at me with a fretful expression as they fussed past.

DSC_0223DSC_0223Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 640, f10, 1/640 To purchase an unmarked copy of this image, please click on this link
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Having finished my flask of coffee and the food that I found compressing itself nicely at the bottom of my backpack I made a final visit to the Ornamental Pond, to check whether any of the young visitors were trying to make a home there. Everything was quiet and peaceful, so I reclaimed by bicycle, and pedalled off to purchase a new hat: mine has unaccountably disappeared and there are warning of ice and snow for next week.

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