Portraits of a Swan
The sound of crushing ice filled the air as we treaded carefully but intently towards the lake. The slippery ground made progress slow, but at last, we came to a clearing on the edge of the water. Bobbing up and down gracefully and going about their lives were dozens of Whooper Swans.
Suddenly, our footsteps gave way to the sound of the howling wind and the strangely familiar trumpeting of the swans. With their waterproof plumage and webbed feet, swans are perfectly adapted to life in this wintery part of Japan.
Every winter, they make the journey from much colder Siberia to find respite in the warmer waters of Lake Kussharo, in Eastern Hokkaido.
As we stand there watching them for minutes on end, we can’t help but be in awe of these great elegant travellers.
words Ana Gomes photography Aniruddha Satam