It is a natural miracle in the Kleban-Byk, the regional landscape park near Kostiantynivka: almost two hundred of swans living on the park’s reservoir did not fly into the stream for the first time this winter, but stayed wintering.
According to Halyna Semenykhyna, a biologist of the scientific research department of the RLP “Kleban-Byk”, the mute swans are good at weather deterioration, so December and January were warm for the birds, and they survived this cold February in a water hole with a diameter of 15 mm. Now the swans and mallards, which also pass the winter in the park, have become even more comfortable – after warming, the stretch of unfrozen water has doubled. Watching the birds that hibernate in the reservoir and periodically fly over to the Bychok River, where the ice has already melted, the scientists are assisted by a quadcopter. Suddenly, migratory birds of the smew species became guests of the reserve – one male and seven females. It is a rare species of bird of the Anatidae, which usually winters along the seashore, on the Dnieper, Danube and Siverskyi Donets, and only occasionally occurs in the winter in non-freezing reservoirs, in the depths of the land. One of such reservoirs was found in Kleban-Byk.
– They are all right, they are fine, they are active and not hungry, – the researchers assure and ask visitors of the park not to feed the wild birds, because it can only hurt them. Ecologists believe that migrants may have chicks in the spring, and in the future wild swans will return here to raise offspring. Therefore, the Kleban-Byk reserve has every chance of becoming a transit habitat for these rare birds. People from all Donetsk region go to see the swans. And the department of environmental education of the park concurrently invites to the cooperation of representatives of schools of Donetsk region – systematic free lessons and excursions are held for children here.
Mykhailo Chernykh/Gromada Skhid No. 3 (12) 2020