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Ringing Recovery in Belfast.

One of the Castle Semple Mute Swans has crossed the sea to Ireland

You may notice that many of the mute swans at Castle Semple have rings around their legs. In fact you may have even seen the Park’s resident ringer and TnT Project Officer, Hayley, nab one of the swans to fit it with a ring. Each ring has a unique number on it that will stay with that swan for life and allows us to track the movements of the birds as well as longevity. Often, Castle Semple swans turn up in Victoria and Richmond Park in Glasgow, Irvine Harbour and Ayr. We even had one go to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve at Caerlaverock, in Dumfries. Well today we have had news that on Sunday the 29th of January, mute swan W39610, was spotted at the Waterworks Reservoir in BELFAST!  If the swam flew there in a straight line that’s 156km away.

It’s a rare event for mutes from the Clyde area to turn up in Ireland and this is the first we have had from Castle Semple. The swan was ringed as a fully grown cygnet back on the 18th of May 2015 and hasn’t been seen since so we are left to wonder what route it took to its current location. If only we could have fitted this bird with a satellite tag.

If you are down at Castle Semple or anywhere else, consider using binoculars to record the swan ring numbers and report then to the British Trust for Ornithology at

Thanks go to Gareth Platt for photographing and reporting the swan.

The Tag-n-Track (TnT) Project is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Greater Renfrewshire and Inverclyde LEADER and Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.


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