Sunday, 16 October 2011

Flying Chick's Swan encounter

Great to be out on the Kona yesterday bouncing around Healy Nab, Rivington out on my own for a change. Dry & sunny for mid October the trails were great. (pic is last year at Glentress)

I took a short cut home along a disused part of the Leeds Liverpool canal and discovered a swan hovering over another swan that appeared to be dead. On closer inspection I was alarmed to see that the poor bird had got into a fine mess and imprisoned himself under a hawthorn tree and the whole length of his neck was pinned to the ground with a thorny branch. I could see blood on his neck from his struggles. His companion was at this time hissing frantically at me and I used my bike to gently wheel a barrier in between myself and the aggressive bird and lodged my bars on a branch. I knew I had to free the swan but I'd remembered my father telling me as a child " a swan is strong enough to brake your arm if you try to hold it" at arms reach the swan was massive. Thank God, I was wearing my my downhill gear, should I have been attacked by the bird I was trying to rescue I would be protected. Wearing my thick cycling gloves I proceeded to reach in and carefully break the thorny branches, the swan pulled his neck free and I could see that one wing was still trapped as I freed that he rolled backwards and sat motionless in the grass with his head just looking from side to side. I think the poor thing was in shock as it didn't seem afraid of me. I moved away from it a few metres and watched it for 10 minutes until it got to it's feet and wobbled its way to the canal where the other swans were swimming. It made my day to have rescued such a majestic bird and no two days are ever the same when out on the bike.