Readers’ wildlife photos

Here are some gorgeous swans (and cygnets!), as well as a bee, photographed by reader Mark Ayling, whose notes are indented:

Here are some photos from the pond at Brookfield Park, Littlehampton, UK. This location was the site of the Glasshouse Crops Research Institute until 1995, when the land was cleared for housing and the aforementioned park.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) with cygnets (2012).

Female (left) and male (right) swans, with two Eurasian Coots (Fulica atra) behind. Note the larger ‘knob’ on the bill of the male. (2013)

Mute swan on nest (May 2016).

Two months later, with offspring.

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) foraging on Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra).


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink


  2. Posted December 8, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    These are beautiful. 🙂

    • Mark Ayling
      Posted December 8, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink


  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    The swan’s beautiful, but those are some ugly ducklings.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Love those swans. Very nice photos.

  5. Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Very nice photos. Is it true, as I’ve heard, that the Queen owns those swans?

    • Mark Ayling
      Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Legally, yes:

      “Swan Upping dates from the twelfth century, when The Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans which were considered an important food source for banquets and feasts. Today The Crown retains the right of ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water, but The Queen mainly exercises this right on certain stretches of the River Thames and its surrounding tributaries. This ownership is shared with the Vintners’ and Dyers’ Livery Companies who were granted rights of ownership by The Crown in the fifteenth century. The swans are counted but are no longer eaten.”


  6. Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Beautiful !!

  7. rickflick
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Swans are elegant and athletic. They can invert like a dabbling duck and reach far to the bottom for food. Thanks for the pics.

  8. Posted December 8, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Excellent photos!

  9. Diane G
    Posted December 9, 2018 at 2:16 am | Permalink


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