Rare sighting of black swan on River Taw

09:11 18 July 2012

Gazette reader Beverly Martin pictured a single black swan on the River Taw near Barnstaple Rugby Club on Thursday morning.

Gazette reader Beverly Martin pictured a single black swan on the River Taw near Barnstaple Rugby Club on Thursday morning.

Archant

Unusual visitor delights wildlife watchers.

A black swan has been spotted on the River Taw in Barnstaple.

Reader Beverly Martin photographed the bird, native to Australia, with a herd of mute swans alongside the rugby club on Thursday morning.

Beverly, who regularly takes pictures of swans on the Taw, said the bird was not a ‘common sight’ and wondered if it had been ‘blown off course’ from Dawlish, which is famously home to a number of black swans.

She said: “It’s not a regular visitor – I’m always taking photos of the swans on the Taw and I’ve never seen it, nor have any of the regular dog walkers, runners or a couple of fishermen who were there today.

“Dawlish does have a flock of black swans so perhaps the waterfowl warden at Dawlish Town Council could do a ‘head count to see if one is missing.

“I couldn’t see if it was tagged but I guess it would be.”

This is not the first sighting of a black swan on North Devon’s estuaries. In August 2007, the Gazette reported that a similar bird had been spotted on the River Torridge in Bideford.

Barnstaple wildlife expert Trevor Beer said he had been made aware of the recent visitor on the Taw.

“It’s not been here very long – maybe a couple of weeks,” he said.

“Black swans do appear on the river once in a while and they have been seen on the Torridge during the last three-or-four years.

“They are smaller than the white swans and, most likely, it would have escaped from someone’s collection.

“The birds sometimes move out from larger groups in the West Country; it may hang around with the mute swans or may disappear again,” he added.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 07:25
Scenes from the big Chemo Appeal Abseil at Heanton Church.

Fundraisers defy gravity to help swell Chemotherapy Appeal funds at Heanton Punchardon abseil event.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00
DI Praveen Naidoo, with some examples of the scam letters received by a North Devon person. Picture: Sarah Howells

Operation Jessica gears up for day which could result in rise of scams across North and West Devon.

Read more
Fri, 15:55
The HMS Explorer will not be calling in at Ilfracombe tomorrow. Picture: Stephen Ring

An overnight stop by Royal Navy ship HMS Explorer on Saturday has been cancelled due to bad weather.

Read more
Fri, 14:36

Two 19-year-old victims were allegedly kicked and punched by a pair of men in Barnstaple, can you help?

Read more
Fri, 13:26

New Road partially blocked but due to reopen shortly

Read more
Fri, 13:16
The land at Fremington sold for £22,000.

Four acre plot on estuary fetches four times its guide price at Clive Emson auction.

Read more
Fri, 08:00
****

Survey by The Children’s Society finds council tax debt is ‘widespread’ among North Devon and Torridge.

Read more
Fri, 07:30
North Devon Leisure Centre in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Fitness consultancy launches new class at North Devon Leisure Centre to help people who have survived a stroke.

Read more
Fri, 07:00
Sarah Stott from Childrens Hospice South West with members of staff from Dainton's self storage.

Barnstaple storage facility raises more than £6,000 for Children’s Hospice South West.

Read more
Thu, 19:00
Rodney Cann will stand as a Conservative in the May local elections. Picture: Tony Gussin

Deputy leader of district council will stand for the party he was deselected from at the last election.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder