This week we’ve had local media visiting, filming the swans return to Welney and the spectacle at dusk (as it is at its best at the moment). They got some good footage of hundreds and hundreds of swans, whoopers and Bewick’s feeding in the arable land surrounding the Ouse washes, a short distance from the Welney visitor centre.
Earlier in the week one of our volunteers had gone out to see if she could find any birds with idenitication rings on their legs, or maybe even the neck-collared Bewick’s which have electronic trackers on them. She saw several individuals that have been ringed at Welney as recently as 2008, these included, L4C, L5C, L5J, L5K and L5S. But on this morning’s swans awake event a whooper swan with the indentification ring VPC was seen from Lyle hide with a mate and 5 cygnets. On looking up this number back in the centre I’ve found that it is a female whooper swans called Ouse, who is at least 18 years old!
It is amazing to think that some of these birds, like Ouse, have flown over 54,000km (43,000 miles) in their lifetime, migrating from Iceland to Welney and back again! It is worth looking out for these coloured identification rings on the swans around Welney as there are some amazing stories to these birds. If you record these numbers in our main observatory you are helping to contribute to years of research. So next time you visit don’t forget to keep an eye out for these special birds!