Monday, 1 April 2013

Swans in a changing climate

Over the past years, I've noted the swans returning to the pond at the end of ul. Trombity as they've done since 2008 around the end of March. This year they've been caught out by the weird weather. Normally at this time, przednówek, that Polish season following on from winter proper, is giving way to spring.

This portrait of a puzzled swan looking around unhappily at its partially frozen pond was taken with my new 55-300mm Nikkor zoom (more about this optic anon); click to enlarge - and note the tiny streaks of snow mixed with rain falling from the sky. It was +1C; horrible weather. One degree Celsius makes a big difference.

The local swans seem to have taken a greater liking to this part of Warsaw than nature intended; they were still around in December, walking on ice, which is, apparently, not good for them (unlike ducks, which have blood vessels in their legs that constrict in cold weather, allowing them to tread comfortably on snow and ice). Let's hope the snow soon melts and is replaced by warmer, sunnier weather.

The weather is indeed anomalous. Today, as I was shovelling tonnes of heavy, wet snow off the drive, I could hear a skylark overhead... Strange days indeed.

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