Thursday, May 23, 2013
A recently hatched cygnet flaps its wings at Abbotsbury Swannery on May 23, 2013 near Weymouth, England. This year the arrival of the cygnets at the only publicly accessible colony of nesting mute swans in the world, has been later than usual due to the colder than average start to the year. However, the arrival of the cygnets is traditionally seen as the start of summer and local traditions claim the Benedictine Monks who owned the Dorset swannery between 1000 AD and the 1540s believed the first cygnet signaled the season's first day. Abbotsbury Swannery's mute swans - up to 1,000 in total - are all free flying, and are not kept in cages.
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