Ask the Swan Specialist

Day #2 - The Royal Swan Upping along the Thames
By:Journal of The Regal Swan® Group Traveling in the UK
Date: 19 July 2007

Royal Swan Upping: It’s another early morning. The centuries-old tradition of holding the Royal Swan Upping along the Thames is scheduled for this morning. Shirley is on the Queen’s media boat down in Marlow, while the rest of the team is taking a private boat from Henley.

Her Majesty’s Swan Warden: Late last night, the team had a chance to meet with Her Majesty’s Swan Warden, Dr. Christopher Perrins, and Her Majesty’s Swan Marker, David Barber. Everyone is excited about participating in the day’s events.

People Are Gathering: Everywhere, people are gathering to capture the best spots along the banks of the Thames and various bridges to see the boats move along the river. There are about 10 boats in the official entourage, including ours, and Shirley is up-ahead taking photos as the swan cygnets and their parents are captured, loaded onto the boats, taken ashore and given medical checkups. We will be going through a series of locks located along the Thames which should be quite an experience as the boats we are using are quite long.

We’ve had great weather today, although along a small patch of the Thames, rain headed our way, but only lasted a few minutes and now the sun is up and shining, with bright sunlight!

Swans Captured During The Uppping: Most of the swans captured thus far have been quite healthy, although there seems to be a noticeable decrease in the size of the flock along this stretch of the Thames. The only minor incident, involved a swan that had fishing line and a hook wedged in its mouth that could not readily be removed. The swan is now on its way to the royal veterinarian’s office to have the mess removed so that the swan can be relocated back to the river.

Result Of The Swan Wash With Fairy Liquid® On Day #4: On another note, we just spoke with Wendy Hermon. All of the swans that we washed on Monday are now pure white. The pink discoloration has disappeared and the swans are eating voraciously.

Result Of The Oily Swans Capture On Day #4: In addition, Wendy informed us that all 65 swans covered in oil that, we rescued on Monday, are doing fine and also eating voraciously.

In Abbotsbury Tomorrow: We’re headed back to Windsor tonight for dinner with Andy and Shirley Adler. They have spent the entire time with us, since our arrival, but won’t be heading down to Abbotsbury tomorrow with us. It is almost a six-hour drive for them, so we will bid them adieu tonight. We can’t thank them enough for their kind hospitality. They have made this trip both enjoyable and quite easy.

Large flock of swans at the Abbotsbury Swannery

Left to right: Sherry Bowen, Her Majesty's Swan Warden, Dr. Christopher W. Perrins; Wendy Hermon, black jacket, Swan Lifeline Rescue; Sheila Bolin, Her Majesty's Swan Marker, David Barber; Dr. Geoff Gardner, Sally Graziano, Shawn Boschert, Dr. Fanchon F. Funk, Rebecca Boshert, Susan Loughery, and unidentified swan upping member.

Her Majesty's Swan Marker David Barber