Notes from St Tiggywinkles: It’s a swansong for the regal Madeiran Swan

The regal Madeiran Swan
The regal Madeiran Swan

Swans are regal. They are powerful. They are incredible parents defending their cygnets against allcomers. In fact they are magnificent. Their only downfall is that they are a bit silly when it comes to landing.

Swans are not easy to handle so when one crash lands we will always send out a rescue team to collect the wayward.

Just in this last year we had that swan landed on the Waterside car park building site. Another came down in the cement works on Rabans Lane.

On motorways, in gardens always it seems somewhere where they cannot get that long runway to get airborne again.

We rectify that relocating them on a decent waterway with space to take off frantically paddling and flapping those enormous wings for quite a distance until they get that lift.

Just recently on a short holiday in Funchal, capital of Madeira.

Funchal, to me represents the glorious flower market, the artists quarter and my favourite quest the Madeiran wall lizard.

Thankfully survivors of those terrible mud slides that destroyed so much of the beautiful city.

But this time I stumbled across the blackside of Funchal.

In some well-tended and visited municipal garden park was a small, very small pond that used to house a few ducks.

This time, huddled on the mud, were two totally dejected, downhearted with shattered dignity swans.

There was hardly enough of the foetid water to swim in let alone take off.

And horrifically there was a row of spikes, just below the surface, that would painfully deter even vain attempts to run and take off.

I am writing to the Mayor of Funchal to complain about this municipal torture and I hope other visitors will do the same.