The Queen goes Swan Upping–what the heck is Swan Upping?

So I signed up to receive Twitter alerts from the Queen and noticed that one of the things they’ll be doing shortly is going ‘Swan Upping‘ this week.  Great, wtf is swan upping?

swan-upping-banner

Apparently about 800 years ago the Monarchy declared ownership of all untagged Mute Swans on the Thames.  Every year these Swan counters go up and down the river claim what is rightfully the property of her Majesty.  Of course they no longer take them for dinner or funny hats, it’s more of a census that is used for environmental purposes.

This year the Queen will be joining the count, along with several school children.   This is actually the first time she’s watched the census.  Guess she was too busy.

Anyway, for those in England here is where you can see the count.

Monday, 20 July 2009
Eton Bridge to Cookham

Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Cookham to Marlow Lock

Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Marlow Bridge to Sonning Bridge

Thursday, 23 July 2009
Sonning-on-Thames to Moulsford

Friday, 24 July 2009
Moulsford to Abingdon Bridge