Thursday, 2 August 2012

Black Swans on the upper River Kennet

Writing the previous post on non-indigenous species reminded me of a more positive recent alien close encounter on the River Kennet:
An Australian Black Swan at Axford on the upper River Kennet in late April 2012...

This species is not on the official list of birds recorded in Britain, but it is a category E species "recorded as introductions, human-assisted transportees or escapees from captivity, and whose breeding populations (if any) are thought not to be self-sustaining" and, furthermore, it is in the "E*"  grouping where "individuals are recorded as nesting with their own kind, and known or presumed to have originated from a captive origin."

There are concerns that it might out-compete native swans, which will no doubt call for someone to start culling them before long. of a pair.  I've also seen them whilst paddling on the Itchen, when they seemed distinctly shy.