Mute Swan – forty years ago in my nature notebooks

Forty years ago I was busy filling in my nature notebooks. I wrote detailed notes in blue biro in my lined notepad about everything I saw and how to identify it. Here’s my entry on Mute Swans from 5 August 1977:

Mute Swan - The Hall of Einar - (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Today I’m in Devon taking photographs of the Mute Swans in the country park:

Mute Swan - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Back then, even though I had a manual film camera, I preferred to sketch the birds that I saw because I could never get close enough without a telephoto lens. Here’s my sketch from when I was 13 years old:

Mute Swan - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) 2016 David Bailey (not the)

Now, I have a telephoto lens but I still miss sketching them.

The most northerly Mute Swans are in Orkney and the most northerly of those must be Westray, where they breed on the lochs; that is unless they breed on Papa Westray at the Loch of St Tredwell. Papay: always one step further.

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