Yorkshire Belles

I was up in Barrow for the football today. Beforehand I did all my WeBS counts in Furness for the month – Ormsgill Reservoir, Urswick Tarn, Brine Tarn, Standing Tarn and Parkers Pond. But I also had something else to check out before kick off at Holker Street.

In the ‘Beauty of Barrow-in-Furness Facebook group Jayne Williamson took a picture of some of the Mute Swans on the Leven Estuary at Canal Foot. I’ve zoomed in below:

Yellow Darvic rings aren’t used locally. Blue is the only colour deployed in Cumbria and Lancashire. So the bird Jayne photographed was from further afield. It seemed likely it would be a Yorkshire ringed bird given prior experience of female Y356, which has spent a couple of years on Ormsgill Reservoir having been caught as a cygnet in Hillsborough Park, Sheffield in 2019.

There was no sign initially among the handful of swans close by the car park at Canal Foot, but a group of ten or so were in the river channel. These birds then flew off but only circled round and returned onto the adjoining canal. As they then returned to the estuary the yellow ringed bird was clearly among them, though it took some patience to see if come out of the water.

Another female, the Y in the code suggests it is indeed from Yorkshire and I will provide details when I get them. I’ve used the term ‘Yorkshire Belles’ as the boat that does the seabird cruises off Flamborough Head goes under that name by the way.

Also present was AX4. He hasn’t travelled far, having been ringed as an adult on the canal in September 2008. Given he was a couple of years old or more when ringed he is at least 17 years old. Birds don’t normally look old particularly, but he had a venerable or maybe tired air about him.

I am rather proud of this snap of him with his home as an attractive backdrop.

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