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Pagham Birder: The Blog

A regular account of the birds seen mainly on and around Pagham Spit, the Lagoon and the North Wall plus other birding exploits from time to time.
Any news of interest regarding the ongoing erosion problems on Pagham Beach will, from now on, be shown on my other blog together with general beach photos.. Click on the link... Pagham Beach Blog on this page.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Agressive Swans

The pair of resident Mute Swans on the Pagham Lagoon have been busy throughout the summer bringing up their seven cygnets and seeing off any visiting swans who might wander into their territory.
This morning after my regular inspection of the spit and having only seeing a single Wheatear and a juvenile Whitethroat my attention was drawn to a swan in an unusual position near the fencing running alongside the footpath leading to Church Farm. As I approached I could see that the swan was in fact  pining down another swan who had its head and neck through the fencing. The aggressor was pecking viciously  at the neck and back of the helpless 'intruder' and once I had managed to separate them the trapped swan stood up and looked around, beak open, terrified. The resident bird waited in the Lagoon ready to have another 'go'. I decided I had to rescue the poor bird so went home and collected a blanket and, to cut a long story short, eventually caught the bird and lifted it over the fence out of harms way.  There was some some blood showing around the head and on the back but I did not think  it required attention so put it on the harbour side of the fence. It looked at me as if to say 'thank you, you saved my life! '

Looking down at the family of 9 swans I then noticed the remains of another swan.....
The gruesome remains of a previous victim

...but they can look very placid. The other parent (out of the picture) was hammering away at the intruder further up the bank.This is the only photo I took as it was more important that action was be taken. Catching the swan with a blanket and struggling over the fence with it would have made an interesting video. Fortunately nobody else was around!
The rescued bird back in the harbour.

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