It’s Christmas Day and all through the house people are eating and lounging about. So a long detailed post on the second part of my day in Bangkok will have to wait, but a post still needs to be written. Fortunately this weekend I was lucky enough to visit Martin Mere in Lancashire, a Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve. The site is an important wintering site of Whooper Swans, a large Arctic migrant that is found across the northern extent of Eurasia. They are popular birds, and are the National Bird of Finland.

Whooper Swans

Whooper Swans (Cygnus cygnus)

The Whooper Swans of the UK and Ireland generally come from Iceland. They congregate in great numbers in several reserves but can also be found near me on the Dee Estuary.



With so many packed together there are occasional disturbances of the peace.

whooper feeding

Martin Mere

Up to two thousand or more Whooper Swans turn up at Martin Mere a year.

Written by Duncan
Duncan Wright is a Wellington-based ornithologist working on the evolution of New Zealand's birds. He's previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia. He came into studying birds rather later in life, and could quit any time he wants to.