The Bristol Swans

One of my much-loved 'things' are the Swans in Bristol harbour. I find them mesmerising as they swim along the dark waters at night, lit up by the glimmering lights of the boats and restaurants along the harbour. After a long busy week they were a welcome relaxing watch from the windows at riverstation, one of my favourite restaurants last night. 

The Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) are large white birds with a distinctive long S shaped neck. The 'mute' swan is distincitve by its beak patterns - it has an orange bill with a black base and is the least vocal of all the swans. 

I often feed the swans in the colder winter months..the most I've fed in one go is 22 swans. They always seem to welcome the food and swim quickly towards us when they spot my turqouise coat and a bag of food!

I started to wonder about the swans...who feeds them? are they there all year round? From a little go-ogling I find that the swans have been there for at least 300 years, with a resident flock of 50 to 70 swans they inhabit the docks all year around. Although there isn't suitable breeding grounds so most fly away to breed and return with there youngsters. The swans are fed and cared for by volunteers at the Friends of Bristol Swans charity. For further information see this BBC article. Friends of Bristol Swans BBC News Article

Tip: Never feed the swans in broad day light otherwise the sea gulls will mob you and steal the food! 

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