Sick swan saved from Sowerby Bridge canal

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A SICK swan is being nursed back to health after it was rescued from a Calderdale waterway.

The whooper swan was spotted looking listless in the Rochdale canal in Sowerby Bridge, close to the Moorings pub.

Andrew Huyton, of Calderdale Bird Conservation Group, said: “When I went to see it it looked fairly alert but its feathers didn’t look in great condition and it was quite dirty.

“When people were walking by with dogs it wasn’t making any attempts to move, and a passer-by mentioned she’d seen it there for the last week and it appeared to be losing weight.”

The group contacted the Yorkshire Swan Rescue Hospital in Easingwold, York, and co-founder Dan Sidley came to pick up the bird.

After being cleaned up and fed, it is now on the road to recovery and will be released back into the wild when it is ready.

Mr Huyton, 40, said: “Its feathers had got saturated with oil, probably with it being on the canal because there is a number of boats down by Sowerby Bridge.

“If it hadn’t been rescued, in all likelihood the feathers would have continued to deteriorate.

“It would either have drowned as a result or starved as a result of not being able to feed.”

Whooper swans, which can be identified by their black and yellow bills, mainly visit the UK in winter, flying in from Iceland.

l Anyone who wants to get involved with bird conservation can contact the group on info@calderdalebirds.co.uk.