It’s a bit late to be breeding new swans isn’t it? #narrowboat #england

Very surprised yesterday afternoon when this little nuclear family hove up on this stretch of the canal. It’s a little late in the season, isn’t it, for younglings?

The parents are doing their level best to teach the scrofulous brats that narrowboats mean food and that open side-hatches mean lots of easy food.

Poor deluded fools.


These two surely aren’t going to be able to migrate to Tibet or Skegness or wherever it is that swans migrate to for the winter, are they?

I don’t know.


My apologies for the small and dodgy-quality nature of the photographs today, the interwebnettingsonline here are not the best on the canal system. Tis the best that I can do. As Confucius once said of the Rat Race, it’s not the taking apart that matters, but the winning. Or something. It may have been Frank Enstein, now that I think of it.

Does anyone want to adopt 2 – 4 swans, provenance, personality and periscope-depth unknown?

Perhaps Mrs The Queen of Second Elizabeth will take them in? After all, she apparently does own all swans in this green and pheasant land.



Ian H., and his floating desk.


    1. Yes and no, like most of the laws in England it all goes back to robber-baron medieval times – when, as now, no-one argued with the nobs and lived to tell the tale. Similar “ownership” applies to land not specifically documented as being owned by some individual or corporation – yonder Ma’am the Queen owns it (or, more practically, the “Crown”, and the government sees itself as owning both Queen and Crown, in effect, these days – probably no bad thing if only we had a half-decent government and any politicians with brains, ethics and morals!). In short, and to wit, cuaght taking a swan would find you charged and in court in double-quick order. No idea what the penalty would be though!

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  1. The Queen does not own ALL the Swans. By prerogative right, the British Crown (i.e. The Queen) enjoys ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water. … Thus the ownership of swans in the Thames is shared equally among the Crown, the Vintners’ Company and the Dyers’ Company.

    And, not all Swans migrate. Those Cygnets in your picture would have hatched this year. Please don’t feed them with bread – don’t feed any wild creature with bread, it is so very bad for them.

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    1. Unless they are injured or, as in the case of one duck recently, ostracised from the group and being rejected, I don’t feed any wild anything anything. I don’t want to be a part of making them dependent on what will surely in years to come, commerce being the evil that it is, become Duck Food McDonald’s or Swan Burger King. It pains me to see folk leaning out of their side-hatches feeding them all sorts of nonsense, not realising the damage that they are doing – damage that makes even swans beg for food these days. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Very well said, young man; I appreciate your feelings. (I am not that fond of Swans though – big brutish things they are!)

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  2. I didn’t realise that one species of British Swan was called Whooper! You learn something every day. I also didn’t know how far they flew to breed, must be awfully tired when they get there, it makes you wonder! The Queen owns all ‘mute’ swans on open water apparently; I didn’t know any of them could talk either, but largely they are white, with an orange/red bill and a black knob at the base (doesn’t actually say the base of what, but there you go!). I once carried the biggest pile of Swan s..t on the roof of my car for seven months once, they were flying over Newark, Notts at the time of launch and I was driving up to the nick. But then my old car was the biggest pile of *&^% you could find anywhere!

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    1. Apparently these flavour swans don’t migrate in winter, but stay in England wrapped in army surplus blankets and the mist of their own breath. Whodathunkit? Lack of observation on my part.

      In re the biggest pile on your car all I can do is to say that I once revenged myself on the Seagull Nation. I was sitting in my car in Preston one lunchtime when a large seagull locked eyes with me through the windscreen and pooped the poop of kings on the bonnet. What the seagul didn’t know though was that his rear end was perfectly aligned with a windscreen washer jet (on a separate switch from the wipers in those days)… I got him, cold, soapy water, right up the seagull fundament. Revenge is a dish best served with a decent p.s.i. … ๐Ÿ™‚

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