Friday, 29 January 2016

Interesting Mute Swans

I like Mute Swans, but they aren't usually a bird that I would describe as interesting. They tend to stay in one place, and, compared to their rarer and more mobile cousins (Whooper and Bewick Swans), don't really do anything! Anyway, as you can see from the title of this post, I've got some interesting news about a couple of Mute Swans I've seen recently.

Firstly, is a colour-ringed bird that I saw at the start of January on the flooded river Severn in Worcester.

Mute Swan

This bird, was, as I said, part of a large flock of Mute Swans (100+), that can be found year round on the River Severn in the centre of Worcester. A good number of these birds are colour ringed, and this one, 95G, was seen on Sunday 3rd January 2016. I reported the bird to the BTO (link here), and heard back that it had originally been ringed, as a cygnet, in July 2013, about 1 km away from where I saw it! It was first reported in the "Worcester flock" on 16th March 2014, and hasn't been reported anywhere else.....yet.

The second interesting Mute Swan, is one that I saw last Sunday, whilst walking around Clumber Park with Jayne. At the time I didn't think much about it, just that it was sitting on the tree trunk and looked quite photogenic! I took a picture, and posted it here, and on Twitter. I received a reply to my tweet, saying that it was a "polish" Mute Swan! I didn't think much about this again, until I read an interesting article in the BTO's Bird News tonight, asking for sightings of "polish" Mute Swans! 

Mute Swan

Apparently, this is the name given to a leucistic version of Mute Swan, which is caused by a recessive gene. The birds are white as cygnets, and, when adults, have greyish-pink legs, instead of the usual black ones. Most birds have been recorded in the south of England, mainly in Kent, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, so, if this is such a bird, it might be quite a good record. Anyway, I've sent the details off, and will update when I hear back.

Perhaps Mute Swans are interesting after all!!

1 comment:

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