Black Swans Gippsland Lakes

To: <>
Subject: Black Swans Gippsland Lakes
From: patrick appleton <>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 05:25:54 +1030
G'Day all,
 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 
same birds.
Well as certain as someone with a whole months experience can be !!
Patrick Appleton 

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