The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

August 16, 2013

Swans just visiting

Not replacements for park’s pair that were killed

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

HERMITAGE — Yes, there are a couple of swans in the pond at Avalon Country Club at Buhl Park in Hermitage.

Their presence has stirred up assumptions that Buhl Farm park has replaced two swans that were killed in June.

“They’re not ours,” said park General Manager Patrick D. O’Mahony.

They’re not even the country club’s, said Membership Director Jeff Shaffer, although he is not surprised by the invasion.

“This happens once or twice a year,” he said. “They make their way up here.”

Well, then, whose are they?

A park neighbor, who asked not to be identified, claimed the swans Thursday.

“About once a year, they migrate up to the country club,” the swans’ owner said. “I call it going on vacation. What they like is the green algae that grows on the pond.”

The owner said he has a lake and a pond on his property. Once the swans eat all of the algae there, they walk up Thornton Run to Lake Julia in Buhl Farm, then waddle across Forker Boulevard to the country club, where they have squatted for two or three weeks.

The park’s two adult swans were killed June 15 by a hit-and-run motorist on Forker, and the owner of the migrating swans admitted he worries about them being so close to the same road.

They seem to have stayed on the pond at the country club since they moved in, he said, but, “They’re fast clearing up all that algae” on the pond.

The owner said he expects to make an attempt today to corral the swans and return them to their home where, he hopes, they will find enough algae to keep them satisfied.

“I feed them turkey feed,” he said. “They like algae better.”

O’Mahony said park officials are committed to getting new swans for the park. A volunteer is building a feeder for them, and officials plan to wait until the feeder is done before getting them.

“We’re going to replace the swans that were killed,” he said. “We’re working on it.”

Two cygnets that were offspring of the swans that were killed were given to a local farmer to raise.