Bird Life in South Glasgow

 Mute Swan at Rouken Glen

This morning, I was fortunate to be presented with a couple of good avian photo opportunities.

Firstly, an up close and personal image of a Mute Swan (above). This is a large bird (up to 5 feet high) which can turn aggressive when annoyed, particularly by dogs.

This breed tends to mate for life with pairs producing 5-8 eggs each year. They occupy fresh water of all kinds and sheltered sea coasts.

There is a widely held belief that all swans in U.K. belong to the king.This is true in part. There are three types of swans of which the mute variety is one. It is only the unmarked mute swans which 'belong' to the monarch of the day in a tradition dating back hundreds of years. This ownership rule had nothing to do with conservation but to ensure aristocrats and others did not encroach on supplies of this formerly high status bird for the royal table.However, the ownership edict has ensured that mute swans probably hold the record as the country's longest protected bird species.They are no longer used as a food source.

Dipper at Rouken Glen waterfall

The above is a Dipper and this morning only the second time I have ever witnessed this bird at relatively close range.

The Dipper is a rounded, short-billed, stout legged bird never found away from water. Typically, the bird stands on a partly submerged rock in running water to seek food at which time the bird's body bobs up and down as legs are rythmically flexed- hence 'dipper'; nomenclature.


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