During the first week we moved to the cottage a swan appeared that looked in such a sorry state. I couldn't help but offer it food and it soon became a regular visitor on a daily basis. In fact he almost moved in. Casually throwing bread or whatever was at hand to "Sydney" as he came to be called fell into the daily routine. He would wait patiently while the ducks had their meals and he ate far more.
As thedays passed by things started changing. Trust was growing on both sides. It was obvious Sydney was lonely and looking for company. He was possibly a young male from last year now looking for his own mate. He became very attached to us and the minute the doors opened in the morning he would be there waiting.
With two dogs and having heard stories of how aggressive swans can be I was very wary of this new "guest".
Bailey our younger Bearded Collie has a habit of happily running along the waters edge. Before long Sydney started to follow him up and down , back and forth. This becoming a game and form of communication between them. If Bailey ventured into the water to cool down Sydney would circle him and almost protect him minus any of the usual hissing.
The pair often sat looking out over the water. Whenever Sydney appeared I would always keep watch because my own instincts tell me clearly dogs and swans cannot be friends but these two seemed to be.
Bailey came back from the groomers on one occasion and his whites were brilliantly gleaming. At this stage Sydney became decidedly more fascinated in Bailey following him absolutely everywhere which made me wonder if he was looking for a mate. If Sydney was Bailey definitely was not "it"!
One afternoon I was gardening and separating oriental poppies in a long flower bed well away from the water. I was so engrossed in my task. So much so that when I looked up from a kneeling position to see Sydney had waddled up from the bank and was happily stood right next to me watching my every move I was more than a little shocked. Literally face to face with him and in awe of exactly how large he was. Feeling intimidated I softly talked to him and moved through the flower bed back to the cottage. I wondered if my white dress had attracted him. He seemed to be drawn to anything and anyone in white!
The only time Sydey has over stepped his mark was when he waddled onto the patio near to the kitchen when he couldn't wait for the normal feeding time. Both Beardies fell into full sheepdog mode and herded him back into the water. They as always were protecting me. Sydney seemed to understand this. There was a little hissing but he went calmly as if he knew this was not good etiquette!
Fully recovered Sydney has left us and I hope he finds a mate. He desperately needs company that is more suitable than the four legged and two legged family he found here. What a sheer joy to have experienced his company and enjoy his beauty during his stay though.
We never know what tomorrow may bring.
Here it always seems to be something wonderful.