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Country diary: the whoopers of Lough Beg are unlike most you'll see this autumn

25.10.2021
Příroda
The Strand, Lough Beg, County Derry: The whooper swans arriving from colder climes will join those who appear to be breeding hereThe Strand is a swathe of grassland made famous by Seamus Heaney's poetry. It's part of the floodplain of Lough Beg, the "little lake" pinched off from its much larger neighbour, Lough Neagh. At the end of the soggy Strand is Church Island - they became attached about 80 years ago when the River Bann was dredged. Hidden among the island's trees is the remnant of a pre-Viking monastic settlement. People have been seeking this significant backwater for escape or restoration for a long time.But it's not just people who flee here. Wildfowl come to escape harsher winters elsewhere. I head to Longpoint Wood at the edge of the Strand. Through the wood, I hear the waough-waough of buffeting wings. Those are mute swans, a resident species. Whooper swans, which overwinter in large numbers, have softer wingbeats with a barely-there echo of hiss. More tellingly, they whoop and whoop as they fly. Calling to each other holds the family group tight as they migrate from Iceland. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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