I've written before about the vagaries of small island listing. Such behaviour is full of apparent injustices and absurdities for the unwary birder; how something commonplace twenty miles away can become an obsession within the boundaries of one's island. This week I was reduced to twitching a swan. Not a trumpeter or tundra swan which had got lost and crossed the atlantic. Not a beautiful flight of bewicks or whoopers pushed out of Russia by the cold. Not even a black swan on leave from a feral colony on the continent. No. I twitched a mute swan. Here is a record shot.
It's that white blob in the middle (I took this on my phone). More seriously the "twitch" involved a ten minute walk on my lunch break but this is genuinely only the third record of mute swan since I arrived in October 2009 - this is a properly rare bird here even though they are common in both the UK and the continent. Remarkable stuff and a change is, as they say, as good as a rest.