Monday, 15 December 2014

WWT Welney

I was out and about with the Chesterfield RSPB Group at the weekend, visiting the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust's Welney reserve.

At this time of the year the highlight of a visit is the wintering Whooper and Bewick Swans. During our visit we saw lots of Whoopers, both in the fields and on the reserve itself. Many of the birds are colour ringed including the female bird of this family party(far right). The female bird, U5D, was originally ringed at Martin Mere, another WWT reserve in Lancashire, 9 years ago, and is paired up with an unringed male bird. As you can see, the pair have managed to raise 3 young this year.

Family of Whooper Swans

Unfortunately, the Bewick Swans weren't playing during our visit, and we didn't see any on the reserve. We did, however, see several hundred swans flying onto the reserve to roost as we were driving home. Some of these were most likely Bewicks!!

As well as the swans, we also saw very good numbers of other waterbirds, including Pochard, Shoveler, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks, Canada and Greylag Goose, and several species of wader; Black-tailed Godwit (c.600), Dunlin, Redshank, Lapwing, Golden Plover and Snipe.

Birds of Prey were represented by a couple of Marsh Harriers that kept flushing all the birds, and a stunning Barn Owl that was hunting along the ditches of the reserve.

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