On our return home from a recent trip out, we drove through the gate to find a swan pacing up and down in our car parking area. Said swan appeared somewhat agitated, intermittently peering anxiously through the chain-link fence that borders the river, in between wandering back and forth.
We decided to give it a wide berth and carefully made our way round to the front of the glorified shed, where we realised there was a trail of white feathers, leading back to where the swan now stood. On following the trail, we discovered that it started at a small gap in the bushes, which separate our garden from the river. A number of feathers were stuck on the leaves around the small opening, indicating that the swan had pushed through the gap, far smaller than itself.
The swan had obviously burst through the bush in some hurry – but what had caused its haste? An altercation with another swan? A daytime visit from a fox? We could only surmise.
Despite its agitation, the swan didn’t appear injured, so we tried to coax it back to the water by laying a trail of bread between its position and the easiest route to the river – to no avail. We eventually decided to consult the RSPCA who said that it would come out in due course, unless we managed to remedy the situation in the meantime.
Our next thought was to give the swan some water, which it eventually drank, then ate a piece of the bread, which seemed to revive it slightly. We left it to recover and went to sit further along the garden. In due course we heard the pad of feet approaching and the much calmer swan appeared around the corner of the building.
It then slowly made its way down the lower path of our garden (between the bushes and river) whereupon it looked momentarily surprised (if that’s possible for a swan), as although the tide must have been in when it had arrived, making the river almost level with the garden, it had now gone out, leaving some distance between the two.
Finally, after much more pacing and deliberation the swan made it back into the river, where it swam off at some speed. So all’s well that ends well.
We had been starting to think that we’d acquired a permanent, resident swan!