Whooper, Scaup and 2011
As had been reported the Whooper was associating with the resident Mute Swans and was very happy to feed on bread thrown into the water by visitors. It has a very prominent orange ring on its left leg reading Y59, which marks this out as a bird ringed in Worcestershire during January of this year. Whooper Swans are by no means a common visitor to the area and it is even more unusual to find one that is quite so approachable.
The Mute Swans on the other hand were as in your face as ever. Woe betide anyone who arrives not bearing gifts (or at least some stale bread).
On the opposite side of the lake another winter visitor, this time a Greater Scaup, could be found snoozing the day away amongst a flock of Tufted Ducks. As usual with this species it was asleep and had managed to pick a patch of water that was just out of reach of my camera. It's as if they do it on purpose I swear.
Water levels at the lake were the highest I have ever seen them which was causing small waves (it was quite windy) to lap over the board-walk edges in places. This Black Headed Gull didn't seem to mind though.
Other birds seen during the trip included a couple of Redwing, three Bullfinch and a smattering of Pochard and Great Crested Grebes. As with Sandy Water Park last week waterfowl numbers are way down on what were they last year, no doubt due to the incredibly mild temperatures. Today for instance the car was reading 11 celcius which hardly seems fitting for the last day of the year.