It was a beautiful day for an adventure, especially for a curious swan. Venturing beyond his usual habitat, a white swan took himself from the Rye Harbour nature reserve over to the dangerously busy Harbour Road. Heavy late-summer traffic headed for the village came to a standstill as the large bird took in the sights.
All I could see, as I brought my bicycle to a stop to have a look, was an accident waiting to happen. Phone calls were made to the nature reserve and rescue was promised shortly. As I waved passing traffic to slow down, the swan followed me up onto the grassy verge, out of harm’s way, and for some reason the big bird decided to stay put and calm until help arrived.
Chris and his colleague from the reserve arrived quickly and professional swan herding began – down the verge, across the road, cars not always caring to slow down, and into foliage on the opposite verge. Then the fun began, with a hot pursuit hide-and-seek through the bushes, the swan desperately trying to work itself through the iron fencing.
Finally, reinforcements arrived: Lucy and Amy from the reserve, equipped with long, hooked retrievers, managed to gently grab the errant bird, the first step to getting him back to safety on the Reserve.
Mission accomplished. After a few minutes of coaxing and scuffling in the bushes, so ended one swan’s big day out on Harbour Road. I hope that home looked pretty good to this beautiful daytripping wild friend!
Image Credits: Diane Mueller .