|I, too, had never seen one of these birds in real life. Point of fact, I don't think I'd ever seen a swan of any sort. There are so many here that now, for me, seeing a swan is like seeing a sparrow... an every day thing, lol. They are still stunningly beautiful, however.
As an angler I sometimes find myself cursing them; no matter how careful one is, they seem, sometimes, bound and determined to end up on the end of your line. I can't count, any more, the number of times we've reeled in at astonishing speed and only just avoided snagging one. I've had a cob reach up, half out of the water, snapping at my bait as I hauled it up in the air. They are astonishingly quick for all their size !