The Emperor, the King, the Lord, the most regal of male birds – the cob mute swan in full sail, scolding his precious escort away from the human gaze. He took my breath away in his majestic beauty its feathers preened and cleaned, bleached white in the sun. He may not quite realise his magnificence but his strength over all of his rivals and the brood of females that skirt the edges of the water is quite remarkable. The pens and younger cobs scuttle inwards pushing through the Canada geese and the Mallard pairings to get to the nuggets of bread that are bounced into the water by chattering children. Necks outstretched they strain at the water to gobble up each dripping ‘dobble’ of crust. How swiftly they skirt away when they glimpse the alpha cob, his feathers arched and spiking upwards to compete with any sailing ship in the Armada. Nature’s poetry could not offer up any verse to explain the total transfixion of the entire audience of both people and water birds alike.