Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Carlton Marsh

A Little Ringed plover was on the wader scrape this morning and a Wheatear was on the east field (Keith Bannister).

Exactly one year ago today the Whooper Swan (a presumed male as its bill/head looked more masculine somehow) arrived. We soon noticed that it had a large growth on its side/wing. 3 days later another one, a presumed female (it looked gentler in its face and bill markings) joined it and they stayed together throughout the summer. The poorly male obviously new it couldn't make the trip to its Icelandic breeding grounds. He was always calling to her even when he was feeding. As soon as his head came up he was very vocal. However, after the female type left in September. he was and still is pretty quiet. 

During the cold snap last December all our scrapes froze over, making it difficult for the resident bird. He appeared to have lost the ability to fly, as he waddled his way back and forth into a nearby rape field, rather than fly to feed, throughout the winter months. This handy crop of rape kept him alive there is no doubt about that and he managed evade the many Foxes on site.

As the weather improved into the spring period we realised that he could still fly between both scrapes, which are about 3/4 of a mile apart. His favourite meal right now is the new growth of Glyceria maxima on the wader scrape. 

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