I sort of imagine that there may have been some swearing along the lines of "what the @#$* is that!". Even though I knew that the swans here were black, it still came as a shock when one swam past for the first time. It makes me wonder what impact the chalky white ones will have on me the next time I see one.
This birds formal name - Cygnus atratus - means "swan in mourning" - which really does suggest that this bird made people think about swan-ness in a new way.
With a wing span approaching 2 m and a weight of about 6 kg the males are an impressive bird, and the females are not far behind.
These pictures were taken during my recent trip to Phillip Island, where they popped up all over the place.
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