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Sunday 21 January 2018

Migrating swans spark power cuts

Linda McGrory

Migrating swans are causing power cuts in Co Donegal as they fly into overhead cables en route to their favourite winter feeding grounds.

Hundreds of whooper swans are flocking daily to Inch Lake and surrounding fields near Burt after their long flight from Iceland. As they come in to land, some of the exhausted birds are hitting electricity cables in surrounding townlands.

Pensioner Margaret Burke's cottage in Carrowen, Burt, lies directly under the birds' flight path. "We all love to see the swans arriving and it is a spectacular sight to see them as they fly in, in their V-formation. But it is an absolute nightmare for us when the power cuts start.

"Recently, we were without power twice in one week and we go to bed wondering if we'll have heat and light in the morning," said the 74-year old.

The problem has been going on for years and the community is now appealing to the ESB to make the lines swan-safe.

Some countries have begun attaching 'swan diverters' to cables which act as aerial buoys and give the birds a visual warning of danger ahead.

Irish Independent

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