A beautiful day for a walk in the park. 

Saturday April 18, 2015.

Swan Lake Village area,
Markham, Ontario

Spring has officially arrived on Swan Lake as the royal couple, Romeo and Juliet, have returned to grace our lake. Another sign of spring as love was definitely in the air. Special thanks to all the residents who, look after the Swans, all the Swan feeders and those who over the years have protected them, built the Swan Feeding Station and even acted as Ice Breakers to provide open water for the Swans when they have arrived before the Ice was gone.

Swan Lake Park - April 18, 2015

The Parade Begins
The parade begins with Romeo and Juliet riding in a chauffeur driven car and with the Piper and Drummer leading the parade to the landing.
Paparazzi of all ages were everywhere taking pictures of the Swans and the parade.

More spectators
It was a windy day and the air was cool, but the sun was very warm. Some of the residents watched from the balcony of the Swan Club and a number of Canadian Geese watched from the water.

The Parade on the final stretch to the landing where Romeo and Juliet will return to the waters of Swan Lake.

Canada Geese
These two Canada Geese that were sunning themselves on the landing, retreated to the water when the parade arrived at the landing.

Romeo and Juliet, dusty from the journey, march past the spectators and photographers of all ages.

Return to the Lake.

Mute Swans
Romeo and Juliet swim out onto the lake for a quick look around before heading down to the area near last years nest and the feeding station.

Black-capped Chickadee
After speeches, cake and coffee at the welcome home event, I went back to the lake to see how the Swan's were doing.
On the way I found this cute fellow beside the path.


House Sparrow
Another cute bird beside the path

Common Grackle
Another love story. This female was sitting on the roof of the Swan Feeder.

The glossy-iridescent feathers of the common grackle make them a very interesting bird to photograph as the colors of this blackbird change quite dramatically with the light.

and along came a male Common Grackle. He sees the female and decides to romance her.

So the male puffs up his feathers, Stands in an awkward way with his head down and beak wide open. Silly as it looks this is how the male courts the female.

Success. The female accepts his display and moves over to him with her head lowered.

Mute Swans - Courtship
More love is in the air as Romeo and Juliet are already into their courtship routine an hour after they arrive on the lake.
Here Juliet and Romeo are taking turns plunging their heads under water.

Romeo and Juliet coming up for a breath of air after consumating their love.

Courting continues with Romeo and Juliet doing some heavy necking.

Note how the upper necks of both Romeo and Juliet have increased in size. This is another part of the courting ritual

After all that passion Juliet takes time to have some fun bathing in the lake.

Romeo seems very proud of himself, having completed the courtship ritual at least 4 times.

After the bath Romeo and Juliet went into the reeds beside the old nest and groomed themselves.

Link to list of all "A beautiful day for a walk in the park." 

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Email: Donald Fowler (fowler@bluenose.ca)