After a couple of weeks of being swanless, a mute swan family appeared at the Brighton millpond this past week. Is it the return of King Arthur (above, on left) and his royal family? In a way, I hope it isn’t. They started with five cygnets last June, but only two survived. One of those lost a toe and all webbing on its right foot to (what was probably) a turtle bite. The juvenile arriving this week (above, lower right; note the paler bill) has an intact right foot so, if this is the King’s family, the injured cygnet has not survived or has been left behind. I had high hopes for him since he looked strong even though his one-legged paddling was difficult.
I hope this week’s “king” is from another realm and leading his family south for the winter. At Kensington Metro Park, seven miles from Brighton, I saw more than two dozen mute swans in Kent Lake this week. I don’t know if they are summer park residents or migrants making a rest stop.
Mute swans all look alike. You be the judge. Below is a close up of this king’s bill so you can compare it to Brighton’s King Arthur in previous posts. That’s the only identifying option I can think of.