Cosmeston

Wildfowl today: fem Goldeneye W lake bay, pr Shoveler & 1 drake Wigeon W lake, 6+ Gadwall. c10 Pochard, and the usual c100 Tufties.

Negatives were: [1] the Scaup seems to have done a bunk; [2] 2 people walking a dog right through the conservation area; and [3] late p.m. a guy with a large blue plastic sack full of old bread and what looked like bits of pizza, feeding the whole lot to the gulls and worse still the Mute Swans. There needs to be a much more prominent notice asking people not to do this. The current laminated A4 sheet [if it’s still there] goes unnoticed.

2 thoughts on “Cosmeston

  1. Paul Seligman

    There has recently been massive publicity (try Google to see how many newspapers etc repeated it) for this statement essentially saying “do go on feeding bread to swans”: https://www.facebook.com/TheSwanSanctuaryuk/posts/1962997073776217
    The statement ignores the impact of large quantities of bread going mouldy after entering the water, and few news sources repeat the RSPB advice which is to only feed bread to wildfowl in freezing weather, Otherwise grains, lettuce, corn are fine. Possibly if bread is fed, it should be wholemeal.

    I actually doubt some of the stories, particularly those which attribute underweight birds to lack of bread eg https://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/campaigns/133219/public-urged-to-feed underweight-swans.html – no proof that the bird(s) in question aren’t underweight from other reasons, like illness likely caused by lead or pesticides or other man-made environmental pollution.

    We really need some proper scientific opinion.

  2. John Wilson

    Agree generally Paul. It’s the sheer quantity that’s thrown into the water at Cossie. People come with whole white sliced loaves and just chuck whole slices into the water. A lot of it just goes mouldy. If you recall there was an Irish ecologist doing some research into the so-called ‘flamingo swan’ [the pink colouration and degradation of feathers, in partic flight feathers, of Mute Swans though to be caused by such mould. I think it was you who brought him to my attention, I did send ff some info re the proportion of the herd at Cossie that exhibited it, but have heard nothing back. Last year a swan had to be taken to a rescue centre as its flight feathers were so degraded it couldn’t fly.

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