Tiggywinkles: “There’s another election going on! Here’s my choice for Britain’s national bird”

May 7 is the day of the General Election but is also the final day of a voting to suggest Britain’s National Bird.

By Les Stocker, founder of St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham
Sunday, 12th April 2015, 9:30 am
Symbol of Britain: The swan
Symbol of Britain: The swan

Many other countries have their National Bird; the bald eagle of United States is a prime example.

There is almost a short list but, as always I have my own candidates, in the main some of those I have met face to face.

Let’s start with the only bird that is only found in Britain, the red grouse but I think to have a National Bird being shot for sport really defeats the object.

Britain’s favourite bird that actually seems to enjoy our company is, of course, the robin.

I know that every time I venture into the garden my robin appears, instantly at my shoulder.

Our robins are quite different to robins on mainland Europe who are shy, skittish and skulky.

Perhaps they should be designated as separate sub species, ours to be known as the British robin.

British robin’s attributes keep piling up, he is the only wild bird that sings in every month of the year and is a great pest controller in our gardens – his home.

A true candidate but paling into my second place compared with the royal bird that really does lord it over Britain, the ever graceful and ubiquitous swan.

King of our waterways our swans are proud, fearless, pristine accepting us into their realms except when they are being parents.

I have met and traded blows with hundreds of swan casualties.

They never back down, they are proud and they are everything British.

They are my candidates for our British Bird.

Now to face the latest casualty swan taking care not to get whacked.