Swan Diary #8

After the excitement of discovering a new family on the pond last week, today was a pretty quiet day with the new chicks hiding away in the reeds on the far side.

I actually got the breed wrong !

What I thought were Coot chicks, were actually Moorhens, which have very distinctive red and yellow bill compared to the Coot,s who are white billed.

The bottom of the Cygnets neck is changing colour.
The Heron had just flown in beside the swans
Coot with its white bill
close up of Coot
Moorhen with chick behind it.
The one young Duckling here is from a different family to the 7 i showed previously
Unidentified chick ?

When I was on my way home, I came across a Buzzard sitting on some wires,I quicky got off my bike and managed to get these few shots before it took flight.

Buzzard, perched on wire
Distinctive shape of the Buzzard
Takes flight !

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Swan Diary #1 ~ Swans and Ducks

Overview

Swan

The mute swan is a very large white waterbird. It has a long S-shaped neck, and an orange bill with black at the base of it. Flies with its neck extended and regular slow wingbeats. The population in the UK has increased recently, perhaps due to better protection of this species. The problem of lead poisoning on lowland rivers has also largely been solved by a ban on the sale of lead fishing weights. Some birds stay in their territories all year, while others move short distances and form winter flocks. In cold weather, some birds arrive from Europe into eastern England.

Where to see them

Breeds across most of the UK, other than in northern Scotland, mid-Wales and the moors of south-west England. Possible to see anywhere there is a shallow lake, or a slow-flowing rivers, even in urban areas and parks.

When to see them

All year round

What they eat

Water plants, insects and snails.

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DUCKS

Overview

Duck

This very grey-coloured dabbling duck, a little smaller than the mallard, and with an obvious black rear end. It shows a white wing patch in flight. When seen close up the grey colour is made up of exquisitely fine barring and speckling. It nests in low numbers in the UK and is an Amber List species.

Where to see them

Visit gravel pits, lakes, reservoirs and coastal wetlands in winter. To see breeding gadwalls look in the shallow edges of lakes and gravel pits where there is vegetation – mainly in the Midlands and south-east of England, eastern central Scotland, eastern Northern Ireland and the south-east of Ireland, and south-east Wales.

When to see them

Anytime of year, but chances are better in winter when numbers increase as birds migrate to spend the winter in the UK, away from harsher continental weather.

What they eat

Stems, leaves and seeds.