Musings and photos of wild and everyday life

Swans & Rugby – Review of 2010 – Feb


This month starts the international rugby season.              

Ireland played Italy at Croke Park and Paul O’Connell was in command.

I’m lucky to live near Dublin but in the countryside.  The fields nearby are important as wintering feeding grounds for whooper swans and Greglag Geese.  Regrettably the National Roads Authority is planning to build a 4 lane road right through these fields which will seriously endanger these fantastic birds which are supposed to be protected in Ireland.

What is really craszy is that there is already a perfectly good road – the N 81 serving Blessington and Carlow, and local people really want a better bus service or preferrably a train or tram service.  Maybe the economic crisis will kill the madness for a while.

Anyway Whooper Swans arrive every winter.  Here is one of them siting on and melting the heavy frost.

Whooper Swan in frost

Whooper Swan head

The most obvious difference between Whooper Swans and our more common Mute Swan is the beak colour, which is red in the Mute and yellow in the Whooper.  We also have another Swan, Bewick’s, with a yellow beak but it is a little smaller than the others.

Mute Swan


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