Friday, January 20, 2012

Got a bit of birding in this morning and picked up the first Bewick's SwanWhooper Swan and Red Grouse we've seen this year. Not that we're in to county listing, but the swans were one field into North Yorkshire from the Cleveland border. There was no sign of the two Rough-legged Buzzards reported from Sleddale yesterday, but then they do seem to disappear for long periods.

The Whooper, second from right, is a long-stayer no doubt pleased with a bit of company (in homage to the appalling script for the BBC's Earth Flight we now intend to be as anthropomorphic as possible). Thomas Bewick, who also lends his name to a North American Wren and a primary school in Newcastle, was an incredibly gifted geordie wood engraver who in the late 1700s produced the History of British Birds. He is also thought to be one of the first people to have recognised that we all have unique fingerprints; it's an interesting coincidence that the bill patterns of Bewick's Swans are also unique to an individual. (c) Richard Brown


  1. I agree about the Earthflight scipt, awful, I couldn't watch it.

  2. Your such bird snobs- they had some excellent footage on Earthflight.
    Becca and Jason x

  3. There was definitely some great film on there, but a lot of it was rehashed from old stuff and Dr. Who was spouting dribble throughout. ;)