Barnes Swans: Stopping Traffic
Spot the pale "Polish cygnet" in large ("L").
Rescuer Ann tipped me off to an unusual cygnet at Barnes Green: it is a "Polish cygnet" which is the immutabilis (leucistic) morph of the mute swan. They're known as Polish swans as they were historically more common in Eastern Europe and spread elsewhere when Polish swans were exported. The morph is sex-linked (much more common in females than males) and is only found amongst descendants of domesticated birds. It is much more obvious at the cygnet stage (when their down or plumage is pale instead of grey-brown) although they are still identifiable as adults as the colour of the legs and beak are paler than those of typical adults.
I went this morning and found the parents and their four cygnets grazing and resting on a small grassy island in the road. One cygnet kept crossing the road (stopping traffic) and just before I left, the whole family crossed the road (in drips and drabs) to get to the pond on the green. This shows three of the cygnets crossing with their mother.
I've uploaded a small album of these swans to Flickr here.
Chewing on a sibling
Why did the cygnet cross the road?