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Posts Tagged ‘swan’

One of the most exciting things that I have observed during this brief trip to Brussels has been a family of Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) swimming in a small pond at the Rouge-Cloître park. I have seen swans a few times before in the wild, but I had never seen baby swans. As you might expect, they are really cute. Both of the parents seemed to be very attentive to the little ones and stayed close to them at all times. The baby swans, technically known as cygnets, seemed to be very curious and energetic and interacted a lot with each other as they explored the world.

Swan babies

Swan babies

Swan babies

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I will be heading home soon after my brief stay in Vienna, Austria and thought I would post a few last wildlife photos that I took here. These images help reinforce to me the notion that there is always something interesting in nature to photograph, no matter where I happen to be.

The first image is an unidentified species of frog that I encountered at the edge of a pond while wandering about the Donau-Auen National Park. It reminds me of the Southern Leopard Frog that I often see at home in Northern Virginia.

frog in VIenna

The second image appears to be a Viennese Banded Snail (Cepaea vindobonensis) that I also spotted in the National Park.  I thought that it was really cool the way that it had attached itself to the vegetation.

Viennese Banded Snail

The final image shows what I believe to be a Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) that I saw at the Stadtpark (“city park”) not far from the hotel where I am staying. I always find swans to be beautiful and graceful, even when located in an urban environment.

swan in Vienna

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I was hoping that I would be in Vienna at the right time of the year to see baby swans, but I guess my trip brought me here a bit too early. At the lake at Donau-Auen National Park, I could see one Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) swimming around and wondered if it was alone. When I walked further around the lake, I spotted what appears to be its mate, partially hidden by the vegetation, sitting on a nest.

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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It was not quite as elaborate as Tchaikovsky, but the Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) at the small lake at the Donau-Auen National Park in Vienna, Austria performed their own form of water ballet this past weekend. Here are a couple of shots of the acrobatic moves of one of the swans and an overall view of the “Swan Lake.”

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Swan Lake

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Today I had some free time to wander about in the Donau-Auen National Park in Vienna, Austria.I am visiting Vienna for a few days on a business trip and decided that I did not want to fight the crowds at the numerous Christmas markets in the city.

It was cool and windy and I did not see as much wildlife as I did during a visit there last April. However I did manage to spot a family of Mute Swans (Cygnus olor). Two of them—one adult and one adolescent—landed on ice that had formed on the small lake and they struggled to walk across the slippery surface to reach open water. The adult, who was bright white in color, moved with much more confidence than the dusky-colored youngster, who moved in a cautious and tentative way. I suspect that it was the first time that the young swan had encountered ice.

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swans

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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During my two walks through the Donau-Auen National Park in Vienna, Austria I encountered Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) in several locations swimming about and foraging for food. Their beauty and grace was remarkable and their white feathers were dazzling—it is easy to see why they have inspired music and ballet. Through the reeds I also spotted a female swan sitting on a nest. I would love to have seen baby swans, but I guess it’s still a bit too early.

As I was doing a little research, I was a bit surprised to learn that Mute Swans are not native to North America—they are an introduced species. I grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts and my earliest memories of swans are the pedal-powered swan boats in the Boston Public Garden. According to Wikipedia, those swan boats have been in operation since 1877.

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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