We don't know whether this is a male or female black swan but it isn't popular with our dominant pair of mute swans, nor with Bidou, our resident female black swan. The mute swans used to see off Bidou in the Spring but over the months they seem to have almost accepted her. They all turn up to feed together but Bidou isn't allowed to feed from the same area as the family.
Seeing off the opposition
There have been several battles this week between the newcomer and the mute swans. It seems so aggressive that we think it might be a male. It also has a thicker neck than Bidou and holds it more erect.
The newcomer chases the cob
Another day another battle! This time the mute swan came off the worse for wear. The battle was fierce and ended up under our boat and we had to break it up. The vanquished slunk away to our feeding station looking quite shaken.
The victor with one of the mute swan's feathers in its beak
After the battle, the black swan stood on our floating raft and seemed rather pleased with itself. It still had a white feather in its beak but shortly after, started preening and the feather disappeared.
Bidou takes exception to the newcomer
It's official. Bidou doesn't like the new black swan and has spent most of this week chasing it away. On Thursday she went after it twice in succession and then rejoined the mute swan family, as close as she's allowed that is. She kept calling, using a single note, while the newcomer trumpeted away at her sounding forlorn!
One of the cygnets enjoys an early evening preen after supper
Most evenings, the swans come for supper and then linger close by to have a final wash and brush up before bed. It's hard to believe how much the pair have grown since the Spring but they're not independent yet.