Sunday, 30 January 2011

Swanning around

I was only wondering yesterday where the seven Bewick's Swans, which disappeared from Stithians Reservoir a week ago, might have moved on to. The answer came in a text from a friend early evening: he had found them on Ruan Pool (our best wildfowl pond on the reserve).

Bewick's are the rarest of our three native species of swan to occur in Cornwall. After breeding in Siberia, the majority of those coming to the UK for the winter spend it in eastern England, around the Severn estuary and in Lancashire. The last time I saw some down here was over 20 years ago, so I was very keen to catch up with these today. With high hopes we arrived down there at 9.30 on a beautiful, frosty morning - alas, it was too frosty as the pool was frozen and devoid of any birds. We had a quick look round, seeing a nice ringtail Hen Harrier, 28 Golden Plover, a couple of Lapwings, some Snipe and a few assorted thrushes, then decided to look further afield.

After checking some other likely spots in the vicinity we were just about to head home when we had another message to say the swans were now on the pool! We hurried back to the north hide and there they were in all their glory, standing around on the ice and sharing the small patch of open water with 50 Wigeon.

We now have two of the three British species of swan on the reserve list - believe it or not, the outstanding one is Mute Swan!


  1. Interesting, I saw these at Stiths, I wonder if Ruan is where they used to fly to early morning, as they were only seen PM at Stiths.

  2. Great stuff! Did you see any Harriers? I had a Blackcap in a private garden today but no sign of any bramblings :)

  3. Congratulations Mr Pay. We both know what our next reserve round up's in Palores will be centred around. Intrestingly as far as i know, they never roosted at Stithians. They were never there at dawn and on one more than one occasion they were seen flying in at 9am from the SW.

  4. Sam and Lisa - I think it's unlikely we would have missed them all that time. And it's quite a long way for a daily commute!

    Dougy - I'd forgotten the harrier! I've edited it in now.

  5. Cheers Simon and thanks for sending them down. I wonder where they went to bed when up your way?