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Cuteness Overload

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1-Cygnets-Deb-Pearse-Common-Ground 3-Cygnets-Deb-Pearse-Common-Ground About a year ago, I photographed a Black Swan pair and their five cygnets. Black Swans pair for life. Sadly, a fox or wild dog killed the adult and two cygnets in one go, which I found. There were three cygnets left, one had half his head bitten off but still swam and paddled and ate with his mum and siblings. I called him Davie (as in David and Goliath). Anyway, whatever it was got him too and the other two cygnets. 2-Cygnets-Deb-Pearse-Common-Ground 4-Cygnets-Deb-Pearse-Common-Ground It’s taken a year but there’s a pair who’ve just had five cygnets. Two disappeared quite quickly; I think to eels. The parents moved to the more shallow end of the pond and hastily built a new nest. I’ve never seen them do that before but three cygnets are going strong and growing little wings. There are a couple of White-belled Sea-eagles hanging around but the parents are very vigilant. When the cygnets sleep the parents circle them, one napping while the other keeps watch. If they go to the bigger pond, mum and dad are in front and behind and hyper aware of threats. 7-Cygnets-Deb-Pearse-Common-Ground 5-Cygnets-Deb-Pearse-Common-Ground The cygnets are now flexing their little wings but it will be months before they can fly and are ‘safe’. Meanwhile, the bigger they get the less chance that predators will pick them off. View more images here.

'I have two passions in life (other than family), one is my love for young people and I earn a living as a youth worker and the second is my love of birds (particularly raptors). I live in Byron, which is perfect for bird observation and photography. Until about six years ago I didn’t even notice birds but after a very long-term relationship ended I began walking and ‘waking up’ to the beauty around me. Strangely birds kept tapping at my window, flying in front of my car and hovering over my head. They seemed to demand that I take notice of them. I did some short courses in photography and web design, bought a new SLR digital camera and lens and began taking pretty terrible photos. It has been a process of some years now and my great joy is found perched in a little creek in an estuary and photographing the Osprey or wandering around the wetlands. I love it because it helps me chill out, I’m totally in the moment, it restores my soul, I learn so much by watching bird behaviors and I am always reminded that it is a beautiful world. My particular affinity seems to be with raptors who are always hovering over my head and allowing me very close. It never ceases to make me happy and is a constant reminder to be grateful for the incredible place I live in. I built a website and so I can share all those gorgeous images with others. It's helped me to be more interested in the environment and how we protect it.

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