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Wildlife of North Wales
September 19 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm, St Mary’s Parish Centre, Devonshire Road, Chorley, PR7 2BY

Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

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Leonard Poxon
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Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by Leonard Poxon » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:24 pm

I went to the moss late in the hope of seeing some owls, but was unlucky in that respect.

Birds Seen/heard: Main feature was a herd of swans in lock meadow, consisting of 9 adult Mute Swans,
6 Juvenile Mute Swans, 8 adult Whooper Swans, 7 juvenile Whooper Swans and 1 adult Bewicks Swan (my first ever !). I took me quite a while studying my photos to realise that it really was a Bewicks Swan.

There were large flocks of Jackdaws & Rooks and a Common Buzzard was disturbed feeding on a carcass of a dead woodpigeon.

Bewicks Swan takes me to 132 species in the Chorley Nats area this year.


gary lilley
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by gary lilley » Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:46 pm

Looks like a whooper to me Len .

PETER
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by PETER » Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:01 pm

Agree with Gary,on Bewick's yellow bit more concave.

Leonard Poxon
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by Leonard Poxon » Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:45 pm

The points I went off are as follows:

When I approached the swan was with the Mute Swans not with the Whoopers, It is noticeably smaller than the Whoopers, has shorter legs, the head is rounder than the Whooper, the yellow on its beak does not extend up to the nostrils, whereas every photo of a Whooper I found on the internet has yellow up to or past the nostrils and the beak seems shorter overall.

According to internet articles the Bewick's black edge is not always rounded, but can be square see http://www.worldbirds.co.uk/whooper_swan.aspx?key=17

Joyce Riley
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by Joyce Riley » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:05 pm

I agree with Len that it is a Bewick SWan as I have seen Bewick's not only in the past at Martin Mere but also in Norfolk and at Slimbridge. I also have a copy one of Peter Scott's books about his research on the bill patterns of Bewick Swans and some look just like the one in Len's photo.

ianball
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by ianball » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:34 pm

I see black extending along the culmen beyond the nostrils towards the eye. There is a slight concave structure to the bill, dropping slightly where it is yellow and then straightening when it is black. The head is more rounded than the other yellow billed swans with a shorter distance between eye and nape. The bird is distinctly smaller than the other yellow billed swans. I have read nothing in all my literature to suggest that you could call this anything other than Bewicks Swan. In recent winters there seems to be a single bird that keeps turning up at Martin Mere. Perhaps this is it on its wanders? (Edit... Nope - just looked at my photo from last winter and that bird also had black extending along the upper bill as well)

Leonard Poxon
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by Leonard Poxon » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:26 pm

Thank you all for your comments, a couple more photos below:

Image - My first view of the swans, with a single yellow billed bird in amongst the Mute Swans.

Image - Heavily cropped image showing beak colour a little better

ianball
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by ianball » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:53 pm

That first picture really seems to show the classic goose like structure that Bewicks can show. The size difference with the Mute's is really significant as well. Excellent find.

Brian Derbyshire
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by Brian Derbyshire » Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:48 pm

Certain that is a Bewick - seen good numbers over years - another good id point I always found in poor light is the neck - shorter proportionately to body than other swans - clearly shown in the photos - great photos and record!
Brian

gary lilley
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by gary lilley » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:31 pm

different photo than this afternoon len definitely a bewicks swan or ive had to much to drink this weekend :oops: .



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Neil Southworth
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by Neil Southworth » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:38 pm

As Brian says it's a great record, especially as they are now quite rare in the North-west. I'm not sure any have been recorded at Martin Mere as yet this winter. Pity it wasn't there this morning!

Chris Rae
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by Chris Rae » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:07 pm

Super sighting Len

Leonard Poxon
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by Leonard Poxon » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:48 pm

Thanks for all your comments, it pays to look in detail (most times :wink: ); now, where is that Tristis than Ian Ball spotted!!

ianball
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Re: Croston/Mawdesley Moss pm

Post by ianball » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:15 pm

Single Bewicks now been reported on the Ribble Estuary at Hundred End (via Martin Mere website). No sign yet of the Chiffchaff again but I have been at work during a lot of the daylight hours.

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