When is a bird an octopus?

Yesterday we were in Edsvik in Stockholm, again, to see Hiie’s favourite pair of nesting mute swans (knölsvan). I don’t know how long these swans have been breeding there but we’ve seen the same pair on the same nest 3 years in a row, though it’s right near the walking path and boats. (Here’s last years post.) 

nesting swan edsvik photo by susan wellington
nesting swan and raven at edsvik photo by susan wellington

Similar to last year, she was surrounded by ravens all trying to get at her eggs. But she’s tough. That long neck and beak were swinging around like an octopus tentacle. And off they flew.

She had six cygnets last year. Perhaps she’ll have 6 more this year? Normally they have about 5-8 eggs but she didn’t get up. We're taking bets.

This year she was accompanied, a few meters away, by a crested grebe (skäggdopping) floating on her nest. We managed to see the male grebe sailing in and changing spots with her and carefully arrange the eggs on the nest. Or maybe it was the other way around? Wonderful to witness.

nesting female grebe with duck photo by susan wellington

female crested grebe organising her eggs photo by susan wellington

male and female grebes about to change shifts on the nest photo by susan wellington

male grebe getting on the nest photo by susan wellington

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