Saturday, 25 September 2010

Down by the riverside

Got a call saying there is a Whooper Swan on the river at Chester-le-Street Riverside Park so I thought I better pop down and have a quick look. At 60p/hour to park there, at a public park to less, it was going to be a quick look too.
It was soon found, an adult Whooper amongst 52 Mute Swans. The bird was very approachable and certainly did not appear wild. It climbed out of the water at one point and revealed a nice  plastic red DARVIC ring on its left leg sporting the code Y696. This is the same type of ring used on Mute Swans, including the majority present on the river but I was unaware of anyone ringing Whoopers with the same type of ring. Anyway should be able to find out where this bird has been rung as I've been on the website relating to colour-rung birds and the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust have been using this colour and type of ring only since this year so I dropped them an email telling them.

The Whooper Swan amongst the Mutes

The red ring sported by the Whooper

Also present in my very very quick look was a  Chinese Goose-type thing of very doubtful origin

Chinese Goose - Domesticated form of Swan Goose or hybrid 
As well as 5 Goosander, 11 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Grebe, pair of Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Common Gull, 2 Dipper, 2 Grey Wagtail and 46 Pied Wagtail as well as the usual Mallard, Moorhen and Black-headed Gull. The water level was too high and running too fast for any Kingfishers.

Lesser Black-backed Gull at the Riverside Park

2 Cormorants were showing the fisherman how it was done but the latter were not impressed by these birds to say the least.

Immature Cormorant - the best fisherman on the river today


  1. we were down Chester area yesterday
    2 combat-clad camera men showed us an image of what they had named as a egyptian goose at the riverside - the image showed us it was your "Chinese Goose-type thing" - a great description, brought a smile to my face.
    we saw a late Willow Warbler nr L.Castle & Grey Wagtail singing.

  2. Thanks, glad you like them.

    My mate has Egyptian Goose on his year list on the strength of a 'wild' one at Washington duck zoo a few weeks ago. Though I'm sure its not the same bird, am I going to have fun with this.