Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Ever since Penny turned up with our new Cob, I have been asked several times what his name was. I had not yet thought about a name, and Popeye the second was too much.

However he has certain characteristics which reminded me of John Wayne, who's nickname was"Duke". 

From what I see, he is fearless, very relaxed, friendly and laid back for a male Swan, so the name Duke seemed just right. 

Penny and Duke are getting to know each other really well, I watched them this morning as Penny approached from the island where Duke was standing under Merryton bridge.

She was confident, relaxed and in control, as he observed the protocols by raising his wings and eye-balling each other, as they mirrored their movements in unison.

He also let out a loud grunt of approval at her approach.

Things are looking good for the pair of them. I also managed to get a close look at the underside of his bill for an indication of his age, I don't think he is as old as Penny but nevertheless not as young as I initially thought, perhaps around 10 or 12. 

He most likely lost his mate and rejoined a flock where Penny probably met him when she dropped the cygnets off. Widow meets widower - It looks good, but time will tell between now and spring.


Wendy Grocott-Jones said...

Hi Joe, great news about the arrival of Duke. You say you got a good look at the underside of his bill to judge his age. Can I ask, what do you look at/for on the underside of the beak to help you estimate the age? Thanks, Wendy Grocott-Jones

jayteescot1 said...

Hi Wendy,

A young swan will have a sharply defined white batman type shape under the bill. As it ages the white area extends upwards and is less well defined. It is only a rough guide as to an ageing swan. Young swans find a mate at 3 to 4 years old, then look for a territory of their own. As they mature and get older the white area under the bill gets larger. They also get mottled skin on their legs, also a sign of ageing, a bit like us getting moles and freckles.