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Patch birding list number 108 for 2022 is a delightful surprise, a Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus), hanging out with the Mute swans in Cardiff Bay. The Whooper isn’t a swan I’ve seen very often as they don’t usually spend their winters in this part of Wales but, with its yellow face patch, its distinctive head shape and its erect bearing, it was easier than expected to pick out from the swan crowd. And, if you’re in this area, the bird will be around for a few weeks yet as it’s currently undergoing its primary moult (i.e. growing new primary wing feathers) so will be unable to fly until the moult is complete. (My photos don’t show this but, if you’re on Twitter, check out @CardiffBirder Peter Howlett’s excellent photos – in fact, I recommend you follow Peter for all the amazing wildlife photos he shares.)

220718 whooper swan