I’ve seen them … so they must be wild … right? ;0)
Two Trumpeter Swans swanning around the Suffolk saltmarshes at the moment have one of two origins. 1) They have gone AWOL from some local bird collection … or 2) They have crossed the Atlantic together from North America and are genuine wild birds.
Given the fidelity of the species and the observed behaviour of these two I would suggest they are a pair. Reintroduction/released Trumpeters tend not to migrate although wild birds regularly migrate between Canada and Alaska south into the lower states in North America.
The thing is Trumpeter Swan has not been recorded in a totally wild state on British shores previously. But why wouldn’t they be wild. We know small passerines can make it to the UK and they can’t rest on the sea. They aren’t wearing anything such as rings that would indicate they are from a collection and they are wary. We noted how they moved to the back of the flock of 48 Mutes with which they were associating when we broke the skyline.
If enquiries of local collection reveal a ‘full attendance’ … they get my vote.
Update – they are escapes. See the following site for details of how they fledged from Letheringham Lodge near Wickham Market http://www.letheringhamlodge.com/blog/?month=january-2015&view=calendar
They are apparently not a pair but siblings. I do wish they would place a ring on birds in collections it does so make monitoring genuine vagrants a nightmare! Still … nice to see and I’m pleased the owners have located and identified them as their Trumpeters.