Black Swans Gippsland Lakes
Black Swans Gippsland Lakes
patrick appleton <>
Fri, 29 Jul 2011 05:25:54 +1030
I live on a yacht at Progress Jetty Paynesville. ( Gippsland Lakes)
About a month ago my neighbor and I saw a cygnet get its neck caught around a
nearly invisible, vertically suspended fishing line. My neighbor, who's
inflatable tender was in the water, went to rescue it.
The cygnet's male parent seeing the distress it was in started to spin his own
neck in a circular fashion. He called to the cygnet as if to say " look at me
!" and repeated the neck spinning as if to demonstrate to the cyg how to
untangle itself. The cygnet copied the adults movements and had freed itself
by the time my neighbor had arrived on the scene.
It is one of the most incredible moments of my life as I had no idea these
birds had the intelligence to see such a situation and to have learned a
specific technique to pass on as a lesson. I grew up and spent the first 30
years of my life with a Sulfur Crested Cockatoo so I'm well aware of avian
thinking but I couldn't believe my eyes so I am now in awe of these birds and
want to study and learn all I can about Black Swans.
So !..... If there is anyone out there with knowledge of these birds I'd love
to hear from you.
When I first berthed my boat at the jetty, (February this year) I was greeted
by the resident pair and their 2 cygnets before I'd even finished securing the
boat. So they have obviously been fed by boat owners in the past. Their
territory is from the Paynesville yacht club to Goose Point and the jetty is
centred in this area. From Goose Point to beyond Sunset cove ( about a
kilometre) is a community of at least 11 Swans including a lot of young adults.
( No cygnets) I'm assuming this is where the resident swans last remaining
cygnet will be sent to in a few months. There seems a lot more feed at Sunset
Cove and probably a great spot for a 1 year old swan to be sent but at Progress
Jetty it is strictly mum, dad & cygnets.
A few weeks back the residents took the cygnets away for a few days and I
counted 10 swans that occupied the jetty area while they were gone. I had a
feeling these itinerants may have grown up here as they knew the boats that
represented food and knew the best spots to camp for the night. Having
discovered the 11 birds at the Cove 3 days ago I'm quite certain these are the
Well as certain as someone with a whole months experience can be !!
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