An Errant Whooper and A Quiz

IMG_2822As we neared the near-end of our first day’s walk along the Northumberland Coast, we spotted two swans in the distance. One was a familiar Mute Swan (Cygnus olor), invasive in the U.S., but native in the UK (and very present on the Tweed, where we started our walk) and the other, pictured below, a Whooper (C. cygnus).Cygnus cygnusNote the projection of yellow below the nostrils, a good field mark when comparing with the similar looking but smaller Tundra or Bewick’s Swan (C. columbianus). Whoopers are general seen in the UK during migration, so this one was late or dawdling, with only a few breeding in the north. (The North American Trumpeter Swan (C. buccinator) is closely related but has a black bill.)

IMG_2433Less of a quiz than a mystery, to me anyway. Spotted this one in the Royal Botanical Garden. What is it?

6 Responses to “An Errant Whooper and A Quiz”


  1. 1 Patrick July 19, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Dear Matt, it’s a Hedge Sparrow.

  2. 3 elwnyc July 19, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I was going to say dunnock (same as Patrick) – because I think of it as a totally nondescript small bird, one I frequently forget in the excitement of the brightly colored/marked ones.


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