This swan needs no lake!

IS this the brightest swan in Ipswich . . . or is it a mutant – rather than mute?The swan has taken up residence on the round pond in Christchurch Park and seems to like the endless piles of food that are delivered to it on a plate by big-hearted residents.

IS this the brightest swan in Ipswich . . . or is it a mutant – rather than mute?

The swan has taken up residence on the round pond in Christchurch Park and seems to like the endless piles of food that are delivered to it on a plate by big-hearted residents.

The swan has been seen on the pond for several weeks – and this has prompted fears that it is unable to take off because there is not enough water.

Traditionally swans need a long take-off to get airborne, but much less space to splash down.

However rangers working in the park think this swan has mastered the art of the short take-off.

A spokesman for the council's parks department said: "It seems that this creature is the Hawker Harrier of the swan world!

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"It's mastered the art of taking off from a small space and it seems quite happy to spend a lot of its time there.

"It's worked out that there are easy pickings from the food it gets there and keeps coming back – but it isn't there all the time, it does stretch its wings."

He was surprised by its athleticism.

"That is a very small pond and no one thought it would be able to get in and out so easily – maybe we're seeing the evolution of a new breed of swan, Darwinism in action!" he said.

Steve Rowland from the RSPB's regional office near Norwich said he had never heard of a swan mastering the art of the short take-off.

"It's true that they do need a long run-up to take off, I would be very interested to see how manages to get airborne in a small space.

"Having said that, birds do learn – and once one of them has learned how to do something others seem to follow.

"Years ago we saw that with blue tits getting into milk bottles, once one had learned to poke a hole in the top it seemed as if they could all do it!"

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