May 25, 2013
Written by Jack Sanders
Thursday, 13 May 2010 13:43
Swans remain a topic of interest among readers.
Jackie Sullivan, who lives on a lake in the Milbrook section of Greenwich, reports “there has been a couple of mute swans for 19 years. The first week I moved into this house, I was working at my desk with bills when I hear this knocking noise.
“I went down to my basement, which is finished with glass doors going out to the garden. Here were two huge swans knocking on the door. In fact the male swan put his bill over the doorknob and was trying to open the door.“The people before me must have fed them.
“The view from my big glass windows is like paradise as there is always something going on. One year they had five babies but two must have in bad shape as the mother had them on her back for a week or more. The three that were left always swam with the mother.
“Late summer or early fall they would try and fly from the north end of lake to the south end. However, one could never get his body into the air. The other two did and left to go somewhere else.
“Winter came and all three went south into a park near the Sound. The next spring the mother and father came back. A week later the baby who couldn’t fly came back. The father wanted no part of him here. I could see down the lake him beating up the young one. It was awful.
“Then they came to my lawn. The father fought with him through my bushes, and the younger one left. I called it ‘tough love.’”
There was also conflict with a goose. “The male swan chases the male goose all over the lake. The goose flies a few feet until swan gets up to him and the goose flies a few more feet. Last summer there seemed to be peace between them as the swans would sit with this goose couple on the shore of the island.”
Up in Ridgefield, Janet Crawford notes a recent column that reported reader Anne Singer, who lives on Fox Hill Lake in Ridgefield, was wondering “why there are so many fewer swans around our lakes these last few years.”
“Reading your column reminded me that I’d seen a much larger number of Mute Swans on Lake Mamanasco this year. I go jogging along the lake almost every day, so I get a good long look at them. On the past five evenings in a row, I counted six of them, and possibly a seventh. There are three definite pairs, from what I’ve observed so far.
“Last year, I believe we had only one pair on Lake Mamanasco. I remember because this pair started out with two cygnets, and a little later only one cygnet remained, and my then-eight-year-old was upset at the thought that the missing cygnet had been killed. Is it possible that some of the Fox Hill and Rainbow Lake swans simply transplanted themselves to Lake Mamanasco?
“So far, all the swans appear to be coexisting peacefully. I hope this doesn’t change once cygnets arrive on the scene.”
Spring Migration at Doodletown and Iona Island, field trip, Hooded and Cerulean Warblers, etc. Saturday, May 15, 6 a.m. $5, Saw Mill River Audubon, office @ sawmillriveraudubon.org, 914-666-6503.
Wood Warblers & Neotropical Migrants, walk and talk, Saturday, May 15, 9:30 a.m. to noon, $12/adults, youths free, Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, 203- 869-5272 x230, Greenwich.audubon.org.
Spring bird walk, with author-naturalist Ed Kanze, Saturday, May 22, 7:30 a.m., free, meet at parking lot near nature center at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Route 124, Cross River, N.Y.
Birds in their Habitats, a birding class for all ages, Saturday, May 22, 9:30 to noon, $12/adults, youths free, Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, 203- 869-5272 x230, Greenwich.audubon.org.
Annual Birdathon, count as many different bird species as possible in 24 hours while raising funds for Bedford Audubon Society’s Scholarship Fund, science and education projects — see bedfordaudubon.org, Saturday, May 22, 5 p.m. to Sunday, May 23, 5 p.m. 914-232-1999.
Spring migration bird walks, rain or shine, at 7 a.m., about 90 minutes, Wednesdays May 19, 26, at Fairchild Garden, meet in parking area on North Porchuck Road; Saturdays, May 1, 15, 22, at Audubon Greenwich, meet in main parking area; Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, 203- 869-5272 x230, Greenwich.audubon.org.
First Sundays, birding at Greenwich Point with Meredith Sampson of Wild Wings, and other guides, 203-637-9822.
Copyright 2010 by Jack Sanders. Send sightings or comments to: jackfsanders [at sign] yahoo.com, or to Bird Notes, Box 1019, Ridgefield, CT 06877; or call 203-438-1183, extension BIRD (2473), and leave a message with your report, spelling your first and last names and telling us your town. If you need help identifying a bird, try your local nature center. If you find an injured bird, call wildlife rehabilitator Darlene Wimbrow of Redding, 203-438-0618, Wildlife in Crisis of Weston, 203-544-9913, or Wild Wings of Greenwich, 203-637-9822. The columnist’s website is www. sandersbooks. com.
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