‘Why Do Swans Have Such Long Necks?’

On another darkly dank afternoon, after visiting Milford on Sea Pharmacy we returned home via Keyhaven.

From Saltgrass Lane we watched geese, gulls, and other waterfowl fishing,

flying, and floating fast on the tidal current. The colour picture in the first gallery and the first two in the next are Jackie’s.

Walkers, dogs, and cyclists exercised at safe distances. The Assistant Photographer provided the first image of this set.

Swans tend to gather under the bridge linking the lane with the spit.

Today they were accompanied by

cygnets, no longer Hans Andersen’s Ugly Ducklings, but yet to shed their cinnamon plumage and acquire an orange beak.

This one is not too big to avoid mother’s sharp reprimand.

Emma, West Sussex recently wondered why swans have such long necks.

Today’s observations suggest that it is to enable them to reach the river bed.

Here I am photographing the swans.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s scrumptious sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower, with firm Brussels sprouts. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz.


  1. Black and white geese and gulls willingly posed for fabulous black and white photos, it seems. Now that I know that swans are reaching for the river bed, the next question is, why do they need to do that? Is their food found there?
    P.S. As much as my husband likes his Malbec, I appreciate Shiraz of all red wines.

    1. As to drinking from those Longnecks — no straws are necessary. You just grab the bottle, around the neck or otherwise, and enjoy. I suppose you could pour the beer into a glass, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that happen.

  2. I think swans have long necks so they can wear lots of sparkly necklaces to important social functions! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

    Gorgeous swan, and other birdies, photos, Derrick and Jackie!
    Wonderful Derrick photo, Jackie!
    ? ? ?

  3. Apart from the beautiful photographs of swans in general, I have found it interesting to see the colouration of the cygnets – it puts ‘The Ugly Duckling’ into perspective.

  4. I love swans. I think you’re right about the usefulness of their long necks. But I like to think of their necks as being essential to their beauty.

  5. I suppose the underwater world will be zoned according to he neck length of the birds eating the vegetation. Superb photographs of the swan’s neck under the water. I’ve never seen any like them before.

  6. There was a joke my children liked when they were small
    Q. Why do giraffes have long necks?
    A. Because their feet smell.
    But don’t know one for swans.

    Delicious-sounding comfort food, by the way.

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brown and white swan before. I thought they all were only white. My day is not lost! My mother-n-law always used to remind me, “No day is lost if you learn something new.” Thanks for saving my day!

  8. I think I may have already responded to this post but I’m not positive. When we are in Hawaii-usually in February but not this year-we watch the swans in the lagoons of hotels. They’re so graceful and gorgeous and so so mean! ? But they are wonderful to watch and your photography brings me back to Hawaii.

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