Musings on Anthropomorphism.- (Well, sort of)

I spent much of last week at Quadpaws photographing the dog agility show. Quadpaws takes place at Mapledurham a little way north of Reading – the event is actually situated within the Mapledurham Estate right next to the river Thames. With such a fab location comes an abundance of wildlife, especially birds. In particular I was drawn to the behaviour of a particular swan. Over the week I watched the swan (I presume male) chase away other swans and geese – it simply would not tolerate any other large bird on ‘its’ stretch of the river.

Swan & Geese-1 Swan & Geese-2

 

Now, as a dog lover I guess I’m quick to anthropomorphise all kinds of wildlife. Indeed I had this swan down as ‘territorial’ or ‘just plain grumpy’. Having formed my view I continued to watch the bird’s hissing, flapping, splash and chasing displays with detached amusement.

Towards the end of the week, and following a particularly noisy challenge to an encroaching swan, I decided to take a walk down the river towards the weir and see what the bird was up to. The cause of his aggression quickly became clear – this was no ‘grumpy’ bird but an active parent diligently making sure that nothing came close that might threaten his family. His protective instincts extended to warning off a family of geese, though at least he allowed them some proximity.

Swan & Geese-4 Swan & Geese-5

Swan & Geese-9 Swan & Geese-8 Swan & Geese-7 Swan & Geese-6 Swan & Geese-3

 

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2 Comments

  1. Diana June 9, 2016 at 12:10 am #

    We were there all week ,lovely place I watched the wild life to ,there was one with large lenses that kept being around the agility rings making a clicking sound now and again it fell off its nest.a few times witch made me laugh smile …..but my what lovely picture it had ….😊

    • Chris June 13, 2016 at 7:34 am #

      Hi Diana. Yes, occasionally not steady on its pins…..

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