Swanning around the lake

Published 9:00am 27 August 2021

Swanning around the lake
Words by Kylie Knight
Photo: Lyn Fletcher

As Lyn Fletcher approaches the edge of Lake Eden, two adult swans and their three cygnets swim over. They seem to know her and her camera.

The North Lakes resident has been photographing their progress since the adults arrived in February, was there to capture the moment when the cygnets hatched and has followed their journey in the three weeks since.

It is a pattern she knows well, having documented a similar story involving two different swans and their seven chicks last year, sharing her stunning images on the North Lakes Community Facebook page at every milestone.

Her photographs and clever captions always draw an enthusiastic response from fellow residents who share her passion for the animals that call Lake Eden home.

Lyn, her husband Mark and their children migrated to North Lakes from South Africa about 17 years ago and say they will never leave.

“It’s such a beautiful area. We’re just down the road, so we can walk here to the lake. We’ve loved it. We’ll never move from here,” Lyn says.

“We’ve spent thousands of hours down here. It’s beautiful to walk here, you meet so many people. It’s just great, especially if you love taking photos as well.”

Her passion for taking photos, particularly of wildlife goes back to childhood.

“I think I got my first little camera, when I was about eight,” she says.

“I loved taking photos. I’ve always loved animals and birds. I looked after aviaries at school and just really loved all of nature. I’m self-taught, so it really is just a hobby.

“I don’t go anywhere without a camera. I think it makes you look at the world differently, when you take lots of photos.”

Swanning around the lake

Sharing her stunning images

Being able to share her work with the broader North Lakes community via its Facebook page has brought Lyn as much joy as it has to those who have enjoyed her work.

She says the lake and its inhabitants are a drawcard for residents and visitors, particularly on weekends.

“It brings the whole community to the lake. When the babies are born, the lake is teeming with people and everybody is down and wants to get pictures. They’ve become actually quite famous,” she says.

“The last seven were so famous. People would leave for work early and get down here before they took the kids to school, they had to come down to the lake. Those seven would take a walk through town and people would herd them back with branches and say ‘go back to the lake’.

Lyn says all seven survived and were at the lake for about 10 months before they learnt to fly and flew away. The newcomers have not been quite as lucky with just three of the five cygnets remaining. She suspects one was taken by an eel. The other was attacked by an eel and is recovering at Australia Zoo.

“It will join three others called the Gucci gang that lost their mum and it will grow up with those three because they won’t release them until they can fend for themselves,” she says.

Lyn is not sure why it cannot be returned to the family at Lake Eden but suspects it might be because there was a high chance it would be rejected.

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