Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Category E

Like most of the non-native species that grace our shores the Black Swan would have struggled to have found its way to the British Isles without a leg up from humankind. Its therefore an anomaly, not on the county list and regarded as a Category E by those at the British Ornithologists Union (BOU) who slot all our birdlife into a relevant pigeon hole. That said to ignore the occurrence of these species is folly. By recording the spread of introduced organisms we are able to flag up at an early enough stage any problems that invasive species may cause.

I've been aware of an increase in sightings of the Black Swan in Gwent over the last year or so. The long staying bird at Llandegfedd Reservoir has now moved on, but may have been the same as that photographed and published in the Pontypool Free Press from Cwmbran Boating Lake. I was also interested to see photograph of a bird at Beaufort Ponds Brynmawr that could now be the bird now residing at Llangorse Lake. The bird in the above picture is present on the canal at Ty Coch Cwmbran. Its associated with a couple of Mute Swan very similar to the Llandgefedd Reservoir scenario in the summer. Despite its non native tag these birds represent more of an interest to me than simply counting Blue Tits. If birders and naturalists ignore these non-natives due to some prejudice based on their British List category we could be sleep walking into an ecological impact that will fall on future generations to resolve.  

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