So there I was at Roydon Mill on Sunday evening taking a few shots checking out the potential of the place as location. I had setup my tripod and pretty much had the place to myself, apart from the local swan who came over to see what I was doing. Having decide I wasn't of much interest the swan moved to the other side of the river & left me to my own devices.
A short while later three lads came down the river in an open canoe, enjoying a journey in the evening sunshine. I immediately noticed that the swan had adopted a pose that looked to the untrained eye as if it was saying "Right I'm aving you". It's wings came up and it headed at full pelt towards the canoe.
The chaps in the canoe first tried paddling faster to get away, but there was no way this swan was going to let them escape. They tried to scare it by splashing the paddles but it just kept coming. The river goes under a bridge at this point and out of my view, so I grabbed my camera & tripod and legged it up to where I could see down the river. Just as I reached that point the swan managed to turn over the Canoe! Three chaps,bags, bottles, cans and paddles were dumped into the canal.
I went down to the side and helped them haul themselves and their boat out of the water. A chap from a narrow boat came out to offer a hand and said "That bloody swan had a couple in a rowing boat over last week".
So now the lads decide that they needed to collect up all the rubbish that had come out of their boat (very public spirited) and retrieve one of their paddles. But the swan was smart and circled the floating paddle waiting for the next encounter.
A narrow boater threw some food for the swan and it headed down the river, so an intrepid two set sail to retrieve their gear.
But the swan wasn't to be so easily beaten, it came hurtling back towards them with its wings up in a very aggressive posture, determined to deal with these interlopers. the canoeists soon adopted a technique of "paddle a bit throw something at the swan, grab something out of the water..repeat".
Having collected their stuff the canoeists headed off with the swan chasing, finally a well aimed bottle on the beak caused the swan to give up the chase!
I think I might visit Roydon Mill again.