Friday, 17 February 2017


When I named Duke after John Wayne, little did I know how prophetic this would be. This morning was glorious weather, blue skies and Duke and Penny enjoying their feed at the Island. 

They were relaxed and Duke was at last eating more. Penny suddenly arched her wings and I knew she had spotted something, it was the young challengers approaching the bailey bridge heading up towards them.

Penny immediately took to the water with wings arched ready to repel the young pretenders, Duke just stood for a while and watched then realised he had to follow. Instead of getting into the water he just walked along the silt and shingle, I got the feeling he did not want a showdown after having been attacked the previous day.

Anyhow, the cob challenger was emboldened by the fact that only Penny was ready for a fight so he took off and flew straight at her, meanwhile Duke was still moseying along as Penny turned away from the young attacker. 

She was forced to exit the river and the challenger followed and forced her downstream. 

Like the 7th Cavalry, Duke finally got into the river but was set upon by the young cob and they both had a furious battle under the bailey bridge.

                         I ran up to the bridge to get some shots of the action as the pirouette of the cobs ended, and one Cob forced the other out of the water and onto the shingle. 

                      Could not tell who was who at this stage, as one whacked the other to the ground with his wings then jumped on top and started a biting attack. 

                        I was sure Duke was taking a beating until I got closer and realised he was the victor !

When I turned round to see what Penny was doing, she was chasing the female challenger out of the river farther up, it was a resounding victory for both Penny and Duke !

After 10 minutes Duke decided he had done enough and let the young challenger go, as he menacingly walked him to the waters edge and chased him down towards the pier.

Penny menaced the female as she passed to join her defeated mate. 

It truly was a John Wayne ending, with penny and Duke in full control of this Battle scene.

Tonight they came to see me at Merryton bridge, both flushed with success, and eating heartily, Penny was the making of Duke today and he came up to expectations. What a Day !!  


Wendy Grocott-Jones said...

Wow, fantastic blog, what a day indeed! Hurrah for Penny and Duke! I hope they go on to mate and hatch healthy cygnets. Our Vulcan and Venus on the disused Sankey Canal at Wargrave, Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside are repairing their nest site from last year and we hope that they will have a brood again. Our cygnet who was cured of angel wing has flown away as well as the other 5 cygnets. Thanks for the great updates, Joe x

jayteescot1 said...

Hi Wendy, pleased to hear your Swans are getting ready for the new season. Particularly pleased to hear the Angel wing cygnet has fledged and flown. You did a great job there !

Gedefaro said...

Hi Dad, what an exciting few weeks you and the swans have had! We're all so pleased that Duke and Penny have their island back! It's been an exciting read for all of us, thanks for all the updates and photos! Xxx Anna

jayteescot1 said...

Hi Anna and Family, Glad you are all enjoying the excitement as well. It has been quite a couple of weeks while Duke's been away.

They were looking good this morning, and Duke is eating much better now. Hopefully they will start nesting in a month or so.

Love to all, Dad xxxx