Anorak News | Birds Of Paradise

Birds Of Paradise

by | 16th, December 2005

‘SWANS get a good press. The arrival of Bewick’s swan is a cause for much rejoicing in the Mail.

‘Did you hear what the parrot said?’

Apparently, the arrival of the Bewick, the smallest and rarest swan seen in the UK (fact!), is a portent of a White Christmas.

This news is not from weather guru Ulrika Jonsson or wildlife expert David Attenborough, but Neil Woodward, manager of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. “I would say because of their early arrival, we are going to have a very cold Christmas and hopefully a white one.”

Come on, don’t be such a misery. Sure you might freeze as you huddle ever closer to your single-bar fire, or spend the holiday season stuck in a snowdrift on the A34, but everything will be covered in delightful snow, and swans.

Of course, there could be another reason as to why the swans have arrived early from Siberia. Might it be that they are escaping the bird flu epidemic. They need to get as far away from Asia as possible.

But the Express has a word of warning for the swans, and Briton’s human population. This country may be no safe haven. It seems the Government has underestimated how many people could be struck down by the flu.

The Science and Technology Committee of the House of Lords wants the Government to give clear guidelines on the best course of action should we all fall ill, like so many parrots.

Lord Broers, chairman of the committee, says “there is a risk the NHS could collapse under the stain” of a pandemic.

He also warns that if truck drivers fall ill food will go undelivered. And a block on international travel could force us to live on our native produce, like tins of spaghetti hoops, Elton john’s wedding cake and alcopops.

It sounds dire. And makes us look again at those swans. Especially that one with the runny beak and itchy, beady little eyes…’

Posted: 16th, December 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink