30 November 2022
Winter is here, the meadows have flooded and the winter-visiting wildfowl have started to arrive. Along with the usual species such as Shoveler, Wigeon, Gadwall and Teal and a small number of Pintail there are an unusual number of Canada Geese this year. However the most unusual arrival this year is a single Whooper Swan.
Whoopers are rarely seen in the valley, the last recorded sighting being 12 years ago. They are about the same size as our familiar Mute Swan but the beak is a bit longer and has yellow markings on it instead of orange. A small number breed in Scotland but their numbers are boosted in winter by an influx from Iceland, their normal breeding ground, although not many venture this far south.