Feeding the Ducks, Geese, Swans and other birds

A favourite spot by the road at Jeffrey's Swag.  Here you can see very close Mute Swan (can you read the ring number on their leg); Canada Geese, Mallard, and large numbers of Coot and Tufted Duck.  One or two Moorhens will also appear.   Other ducks that can frequently be seen on Jeffrey's Swag but which don't come to feed from the hand, are:  Pochard, Goldeneye (over 100 in winter), Goosander, and sometimes Gadwall, Pintail, Teal, Shoveler, Smew and Scaup.   Quite often, Gulls will join in and compete for the food you give them.   These are usually Black-headed Gulls (although they only have a black head in the spring and summer).  You will also see Great Crested Grebes, Heron, and even the occasional Kingfisher.


If you are not sure what species they are, then ask a Birdwatcher.  You can tell if anyone near you is a birdwatcher as they usually have a pair of binoculars around their neck.  You won't usually see birdwatchers feeding the birds (even though they are bird lovers too).  This is because they know that their is plenty of natural food in Jeffrey's Swag and the main Pool.  Only if there is a prolonged cold spell in the winter and all the pools freeze over, will the birds be unable to feed.  And if it does become difficult for the wildfowl to feed there, then they will usually leave Chasewater and fly west or south to where the waters are not frozen over.

Adults and children love to feed the ducks and geese at weekends and it is quite ok to do this as it does mean they will come close and you will be able to identify them and see all their colours and markings much better.   We do ask, however, that you take your bags and containers home with you please.

Ducks, Geese and Swans will eat bread and they also like grain.

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Copyright 2004 Chasewater Wildlife Group