Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

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

48 minutes ago

Councillors turn down controversial proposals to earmark the region for wind energy

Read more
17:16
North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones (right) with Steve Crowther, Michael Pagram, Joanne Bell, Mark Cann and David Chalmers on the estuary near the Yelland site.

Cross party call for end to ‘planning vacuum’ that favours developers

Read more
12:18
Barnstaple's Queens Theatre

North Devon councillors have agreed an offer from North Devon Theatres Trust for the leasehold of the Queen’s Theatre and the Landmark Theatre.

Read more

The man in his 50s is recovering in hospital after being pushed to the floor and kicked by man asking for cigarettes and drink.

Read more
12:10
Work by Polly Morris

There’s tonnes to see and do around the town this Saturday and Sunday

Read more
Terry Baker is hoping to hit the £500,000 mark before his 65th birthday. Picture: Sarah Howells

Terry Baker is hoping to hit the half-a-million-pound mark for Children’s Hospice South West before he turns 65.

Read more
10:41
Guy Harrop

Take a look at Guy Harrop’s commended Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year photo.

Read more
10:30
Sidney Teckman, front centre, pictured with members of his family during his visit to the Saunton Sands Hotel in April this year. Picture: ND Photos

Hotel has special appeal for loyal holidaymaker, 95.

Read more
09:50

Here is a quick snapshot of each candidate to help make up your mind when the region goes to the polls tomorrow (Thursday)

Read more
09:45
The Queen Street car park in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

North Devon Council will increase charges after a six year freeze.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

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
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

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

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications