Black Swan

More than 300 species of bird breed in Western Australia, of which some 16 are endemic  to WA. 

I’m going to try to work my way through them photographically, most likely starting with those that are easiest to find and photograph. The most iconic of all for Western Australia has to be the Black Swan so that’s where I will begin.

To a small child black swans are one of the scariest of West Australian birds; the others being magpies in breeding season and the drum beating emus.

At a distance they look so elegant and peaceful, but I have clear childhood memories of running in terror from these large birds on the banks of Bibra Lake.
Swans are beautiful to photograph as they are so graphic and relatively slow moving. When the water is glassy you can get some beautiful reflections.  The red and black colour combinations are very dramatic.

These birds have lent their name to movie, a river, a theatre company and an event theory. A swan is depicted on the Western Australian coat of arms, and on the University of Western Australia crest.

The river that creeps through the city of Perth is called the Swan, named for these beautiful black birds that make their home here. Lucky for tourists, black swans are still very common in Perth and as big birds, easy to spot, identify and photograph. Visit one of the lakes in Perth, or follow the river for any reasonable distance and you are likely to come across a few. 

For all the technical twitchy talk on black swans see

For something more light hearted here is Spkie Milligan’s swan poem. Of course, Spike would have been writing about the white english swans, but the sentiment remains the same.

Down the stream the swans all glide;
It’s quite the cheapest way to ride.
Their legs get wet,
Their tummies wetter:
I think after all
The bus is better. 

Spike Milligan

Please follow and like us: