We’re back in British Columbia for the summer and we’re all set up at our favourite spot at Thunderbird RV Park in Campbell River. Opportunities for wildlife photography abound here, but I’ve noticed that lately my attention has fallen on one particular individual: Larry the Mute Swan.
Over the past few years we’ve been coming here Larry has become a familiar sight and we love to watch his antics in the estuary. We always look forward to seeing him and this year it seemed like he missed us too. On our second night in the park, Ray opened the door at 10pm and there was Larry right at our steps!!
I’ve been doing a lot of practicing with my new camera (more coming up on that soon) and realized that I have quite a collection of photographs of Larry. He’s a wonderful study in both swan behaviour and photography as I try to get to get different photographs of the same bird in the same location.
Sometimes Larry likes to chase the Canada Geese away. It’s pretty funny to watch because he swims like he’s on a mission.
It takes quite a lot of effort for Larry to fly. There’s all kinds of of flapping and splashing as his wings hit the water before he becomes airborne, but he can do it!
Apparently there used to be two swans in the estuary, but Larry’s wife, Lois, died in a storm a few years ago. Poor Larry has been a bachelor ever since. Maybe that’s why he comes up to the campsites for a little company now and then.
We’re happy to see him and talk to him a little and definitely get some photographs before he goes on his way.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into Larry’s life here on the estuary. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of making new images of him, so I’m sure you’ll see more in the future.
UDPATE: I’m sorry to report that Larry died yesterday July 8, 2017. His remains were found in the estuary. I don’t know if it was old age or if something happened to him. I loved that bird!! It’s sad now to look out into the estuary and know my old friend wont be swimming around the corner to see me again. But I am glad that he became the focus of my attention earlier this year and that I captured all of these photos of him. RIP Larry, we won’t forget you.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” — Dr. Suess