Illegal immigrants fly into in Wales

Wednesday 3 March 2010, 09:51

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

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Sometimes it must be nice being a bird. You can come and go as you like, no passport required and no border controls to negotiate - just the odd plane to avoid!

The following have all been photographed in South Wales recently. Who needs to go on holiday to see exotic bird life when you can go to your nearest wetlands area instead.

It may not be as warm but the colours are just as vivid.

The gadwall breeds in Northern Europe, Asia and Central North America and was photographed by Tony Llewellyn:


The spoonbill occurs in North East Africa, Europe, Asia and Japan and was snapped, dancing on water by Moses Davies:


A coscoroba swan - the smallest member of the swan family flew in from South America and was photographed by Tony Llewellyn:


And finally the most exotic of them all - a flamingo by Tony Llewellyn:


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    Comment number 1.

    I have seen a pair of gadwall in the Bridgend area at Parc Slip and near the mouth of the Ogmore on several occasions and these may be two of the birds which regularly over winter in Wales or may even be among the small number of birds resident and breeding here. These may be somewhat rarer but are no more "illegal" than our swallows or numerous garden birds which are regular "dual nationals". Even smaller numbers of Spoonbill are known to migrate regularly to areas of the UK although I don't know if this has included Wales in the past.
    Groups of exotic ducks and other water birds are frequently held in WWT centres, zoos and other private collections. Whilst these birds and the escapees from these collections seen "in the wild" are not native neither are they migrants. Isn't it possible that some of the birds you have featured, particularly those which are not already known to migrate here, fall into this category?

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    Comment number 2.

    It's a bit of fun mike, and aimed to draw people in and raise awareness of the amazing water fowl we have, right here in Wales.

    I'm not proposing 'pet passports' for our feathered friends either ;)

    The piece is about migration and all of the species featured come from 'outside' of Wales.

    Whether or not gadwall are now here full time in small numbers is a question for the local wildlife trust or RSPB.

    Thanks for your comment though. It's great to know that you are so passionate about birds.

    Next week I will be cracking down on redwing, fieldfare and waxwing! :)


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