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This month’s instalment features one of our large feathery winter visitors from the high Arctic; the Bewick’s Swan. Part of the “Wild Swans” family, they’re not sedentary but are free-roaming and make a lot more noise than Mute Swans do – with their load trumpeting calls which often mark their arrival. They are also famously known for their individual black and yellow beak markings – allowing each bird to be identified and studied, which the staff at WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, have been doing since the 1960’s. They’re named after the celebrated bird illustrator, Thomas Bewick – and funnily enough, the yellow on a Bewick’s Swan’s beak forms the letter B!
To see my video on the Whooper Swan (another member of the Wild Swan family) click here.