Tuesday, 23 February 2021
The Mute Swan doesn't need describing, it is a familiar bird for most people. It is a resident bird, but not very numerous at Hull, with the number of breeding pairs are likely to be around five or less each year, due to the lack of suitable lakes and water courses for them to breed.
The Breeding Pairs
Pickering Park. A pair has successfully fledge young every year at least since 2017. The pair is ringed (841 and 842). They allow their cygnets to remain all through the following breeding season, so often there are two batches of young with the adults. This is possibly to do with the large size of the lake. These are my notes with cygnets at the grown stage: 2020 (3 cygnets), 2019 (started with 8, then 4 cygnets), 2018 (5 cygnets), 2017 (4 cygnets).
Oak road. Another place where a pair raises young most years at least since 2012. They often move between the lake and the river Hull.
Beverley and Barmston Drain. A pair bred near Sculcoates Lane (2020, 4 cygnets) and possibly at Hall Road (a pair was present). Possibly in other secluded spots along the drain.
East Park. Has bred in the past, but no recent breeding. There are often several individuals present during the winter.
Noddle Hill. Has bred, but no recent records.
Bramsholme reservoir. Has the largest swan aggregations in the winter. Up to 34 in October 1997 according to Richard Broughton, numbers seem much smaller in recent years.
Holderness Drain. Old records of pairs present.
Pearson Park. Occasional dispersing young have stayed the winter.
Let me know in the comments if you know of any other breeding pair.
Mute Swan populations are stable in the UK, after a period of population increase, possibly driven by the banning of lead weights for fishing. However, it is an Amber listed species due to the size of the UK wintering population. The Mute Swan has a Biodiversity Action plan in Hull. Main threats are disturbance of nesting birds and entanglement with fishing gear. Dispersing young are liable to collisions with buildings and overhead cables. Contact the Police Wildlife Liaison Officer if you witness any attacks to swans or their nests.Contact the Police Wildlife Liaison Officer
Monday, 22 February 2021
Sunday, 21 February 2021
A mild, cloudy day with a little wind. I find my first Lesser Celandines in bloom on the way to Sculcoates. As I get to the drain, I notice a Greenfinch singing, replying to another one. A little further there is a cacophony of Song Thrush song, as I move closer I realise there are 3 Song Thrushes in a small area, singing at the same time. There are a lot of birds in song.
Spring does feel in the air now. The morning chorus is quite noticeable, the Black-headed gulls showing their dark heads.