Not Seeing Swans

The Stena ferry to Island in front of Lake District fells

As it was a nice looking morning I decided to drop Jane off early and get some seawatching in from North Shore. The main target was Whooper Swans. On calm, clear mornings over the next few weeks they will begin their return journeys to Iceland and can be seen from the Fylde heading out past Walney or up Morecambe Bay.

As it turned out some Whoopers were seen heading away from Knott End, possibly from the Over Wyre wintering groups rather than the Martin Mere birds. I didn’t see any going past, but in many ways it didn’t matter as it was just a lovely day to be out. When it’s really clear you can see Snowdonia and the Lake District, today North Wales wasn’t visible but Black Combe and the central fells certainly were.

In the absence of the swans it was the usual staples off Blackpool in early March. A trio of ducks species passed – Common Scoter, Eider and a single Shelduck. There were Cormorants heading south, and a single Red-throated Diver that lifted off the sea and then headed north with its characteristic head jerking as it flew.

The Whooper Swans generally arrive in fairly small groups, when they depart they are often in larger groups. Upwards of 200 have been seen passing Starr Gate in one flock. One morning I heard them before I saw them even though they were perhaps half a mile out, the size of the group making the noise carry like a football crowd.

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