Bewick's Swans are rare in the York area, so it was great to see this pair of adults - sadly without any kids in tow- with the Lower Derwent Valley Whooper Swan herd, yesterday. Noticeably smaller and shorter- necked compared with their Icelandic cousins, the birds were easily picked out even from a considerable distance, as they stomped around in the winter wheat to the east of Menthorpe Lane, North Duffield. Bewick's are declining internationally as they get hunted - illegally- on their migrations through the Baltic states from Siberian breeding grounds to the Low Countries and the UK in winter. The herd used to equal the Whoopers in the LDV; now we are lucky to record a couple a year.
Over at Wheldrake, a couple of Marsh Harriers, which are doing very well these days, were terrorising the hordes of ducks, whilst a pair of Stock Doves fed along the bank at North Duffield Carrs.