Monday, July 20, 2015

THE BLACK SWANS OF DAWLISH, SOUTH DEVON


As many may already know, Black Swans are indigenous to Australia so it may come as a surprise to learn that there are a few residing in a Devonshire seaside town and have done so for many years.  In fact, they are one of the  tourist attractions for Dawlish, South Devon.  I, for instance, remember them as a little girl, and wanted to see them again on our most recent trip back to Devon last month.


The Black Swans in Dawlish have actually resided here for decades, and have been used as the town's emblem for more than 40 years.  I have read in a couple of articles that the swans were originally brought over from Australia in 1900 by a local resident.  However, in another article I read that John Nash, this resident, a Dawlish-borne man who emigrated during adulthood but paid frequent visits to the town, brought them back from New Zealand.  


(Going a little off topic regarding the swans and something you might find interesting, Jane Austen stayed in Dawlish, as did Charles Dickens who decided to make Dawlish the birthplace of Nicholas Nickleby.)


In flight the Black Swan has a very long slender neck and white flight feathers along the edge of its wings.  The flight is slow with slow wing beats, and a high-pitched bugle is often heard.  Male and female have a similar appearance.  Juveniles are grey-brown with black tips to the outer white flight feathers, and cygnets are light grey, downy with grey-black bills and feet.  We did not see any Black Swan cygnets on our visit.






I am linking with Anni at Bird D'Pot, Michelle at Nature Notes, Judith at  Mosaic Monday, and Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday.  A big thank you to our hosts for these wonderful memes.

44 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever seen one in person before, only the white ones

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  2. Beautiful bird nicely accented with the red frame.

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  3. OH! I saw black swans many, MANY years ago in England. I wonder if I was in Devon!

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  4. A black swan reminds me of a black diamond … perhaps a little rare and deep but beautiful in its uniqueness and inky silhouette.

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  5. They are so gorgeous and regal!

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  6. Oh my Denise....they are absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

    Thanks for linking at I'd Rather B Birdin' this week [I haven't been to my birding blog today since I've now just got internet connection, but will soon.]

    Anni @ I'd Rather B Birdin'
    and
    Hootin' Anni's

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  7. Absolutely gorgeous. there is one on the I.O.W as well

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  8. Hello Denise, the Black Swans are beautiful. So glad they are doing well in this seaside town. Wonderful series of photos! Have a happy Monday!

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  9. What an incredibly beautiful swan! That red beak with the white stripe on the end is so striking, especially against the black feathers. I can see why you'd make a special trip to see these beauts!

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  10. Lovely photos of the black swans! That's one bird I've never seen. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

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  11. They are lovely birds - but aggressive bullies. At a local park beside the lake they mug picknickers demanding their sandwiches. And if you are not fast enough they help themselves...

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  12. These are gorgeous :)
    They look so elegant :))

    Have a beautiful week Denise!
    Tinna ✐

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  13. they are gorgeous and such a special sight to see!! i have only seen them once here, at a zoo!!!

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  14. They are so beautiful! I didn't know they are originally from Australia.

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  15. The Black Swan is very adorable.
    I have never seen such nice photos of one before - well done, Denise!
    Have a Beautiful Week!
    Peace :)

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  16. I don't think I have seen a black swan before. They are very pretty. A lot of great detail in the photos.

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  17. They are beautiful! No wonder you wanted to see them again.

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  18. How beautiful and interesting!

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  19. You have been going back and visiting a few things from your youth. I can see why this one would stick with you.

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  20. they appear to be very large and they are also very beautiful.

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  21. Oh, they are something special. Beautiful. I did not know that they came from Australia.

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  22. The black swans are just as elegant as their white cousins - and it's the red beak that makes them spectacular. I didn't realize they indigenous and asked Jill, who showed them in her post too if they were a rarity - I know the answer now. :-)
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

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  23. Wonderful to see them! They are beautiful!

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  24. Such graceful creatures. Interesting to know the history.

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  25. Lovely photos , I have never seen Black Swans before ! Thanks for sharing , a have a good day !

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  26. They are so incredibly beautiful! So wonderful to see your awesome photos of them and learn a little about them! I also enjoyed learning a little of the history of Dawlish!

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  27. Great birds to see on the wing, with the white leading edge to the wings! There was one living with a flock of mutes next to the Trent a couple of winters ago.

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  28. Oh Denise a black swan! I have never seen one...gorgeous.

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  29. The black swans are so beautiful. What a rare treasure they must be and you have amazing photographs of them. Wow.

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  30. It would be so interesting to see both a white and black swan together sometime. Like others,mthis is a first time view for me as well. Thanks too for the background info, Denise.

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  31. Great photos of the black swans. However they got way over there it is nice to know they are well liked and well looked after.

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  32. Lovely pictures. There's something very calming about Swans, and a little mysterious too with the Black Swan.

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  33. They really are beautiful; there's a town in Florida called Lakeland that has some imported ones too and a similar story about a New Zealander who brought them over .... they're very photogenic.

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  34. Beautiful swans. I wonder which story of how they got all the way over there is true. I would love to see some swans around here but I don't think they really come to the tropics. I recall seeing them further inland one time though. I love that they have become a tourist attraction.

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  35. Hello Denise. These are beautiful swans and I would love to see them. Too bad there weren't any babies.... Michelle

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  36. I read your October post with the link to this one and came over to see more of these beautiful graceful birds.

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