Here's the first drawing, copied from a photo of a posing male mute swan at Rutland Water a while ago.
|Mute swan sketch.|
|Mute swan at Rutland Water, 24/01/2010.|
This is a male mute swan from its deep red-orange bill with large black knob, and from the behaviour. Supposedly the bill is the best way to tell apart male and female, but I remember going to a talk once by Jan Harrigan of Wychbold Swan Rescue, who reckoned that because illness or injury could cause the bill-knob to deflate and appear rather wan, the only foolproof way to tell the sexes apart was by the head shape. I can't remember what the differences were now though and a quick Google has not revealed anything! Has anyone else heard this?