If you’re wondering what our favourite residents are up to during lockdown, here’s a sneak peek from those busy taking care of the animals. If you’re missing the cheeky antics of our otters or the welcoming peck of a goose you’re in for a treat…
And we’re told they miss us too. Well most of the time!
There are also some that are simply not as appreciative as they could be of all the work going into caring for them. Like this Andean goose at WWT Washington…
You may be feeling a bit jealous of keepers here seeing to our animals & carrying out essential tasks.— WWT Washington (@WWTWashington) March 28, 2020
During a daily check of our Islands exhibit fence line, keeper Rhys was met by a territorial male Andean goose. Mr Andean took charge... literally! It's not all fun & games! pic.twitter.com/ANvuE4MqPU
We’re pleased to tell you that our otters are behaving themselves during lockdown
The otters at London wetland centre get the day off to a good start by making their bed.
Good morning every body. An otters first job in the morning is to make the bed. Keep an eye out for more posts this week from Tod and Honey.#otters #london #wwtlondon #wwt #wetlands pic.twitter.com/ZwshSZgldr— WWT London Wetland Centre (@WWTLondon) May 7, 2020
Meanwhile at Slimbridge, the coming together for family mealtimes is important for Flow and Haha in this time of uncertainty…
Interaction with their keepers is a key part of the daily routine - no social distancing required. Our otters at WWT Washington are clearly enjoying the attention.
Routine is very much part of everything we do here. With many of us having to adjust to new temporary routines, we thought we'd share something from our keepers that is very much an essential part of our daily routine… otter training! pic.twitter.com/wH5yMANogH— WWT Washington (@WWTWashington) April 2, 2020
Remember the cape barren geese at Slimbridge and Martin Mere?
If you visited back in February you may have been lucky enough to see the first cape barren gosling to hatch at Slimbridge since 2014.
Like all the chicks at our centres the cape barren gosling is getting bigger every day. The striking black and white markings remind us of a fluffy humbug!
The gosling is losing those trademark fluffy feathers and is growing up fast. It’s nearly as big as mum and dad now.
We’ve found out our gosling is a boy. He’s almost fully grown now and is busy learning from mum and dad how to fend for himself.
And we’re pleased to report that the three cape barren goslings at WWT Martin Mere are thriving. They’re also keeping our staff on their toes…
It's been just over a week since the cape barren goslings hatched. Sadly, one of the goslings didn't make it, but the other three are looking very strong and are being well looked after. Here they are tucking into some food with Mum and Dad, looks like they love lettuce! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FDuaG4M9UA— WWT Martin Mere (@WWTMartinMere) April 1, 2020
Need a little something to look forward to after lockdown?
Our new Waterscapes Aviary and Wetland Theatre was due to open this summer as part of our Slimbridge 2020 project, but sadly this is now postponed. But here are some photos of what you can look forward to visiting next year.
And as part of this experience we have some weird and wonderful new birds for you to meet, like this pelican. Perhaps you can tell us what he’s up to? Because we’re really not sure.
And how about these spoonbills? Check out that awesome beak, the perfect tool for chowing down on your favourite fish. We can’t wait to introduce you to these amazing birds.
🎧SOUND ON!🎧— WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre (@WWTLlanelli) March 31, 2020
We've currently got four absolutely gorgeous young spoonbills staying with us whilst they wait for their brand new aviary to be built at @WWTSlimbridge.
When nature gives you a spoon for a beak you've got to dig in! #birds #dinnertime #beautiful pic.twitter.com/B4RRZxkJej
And while we are on the topic of food, I bet you didn’t know…
There are ducks that enjoy lettuce. Good to know if you’re feeding ducks in your local park, it makes a tasty change from stale bread crusts (we’re told oats and peas also go down well).
It's safe to say these ducks are fans of lettuce 😂 In this group there are Indian Runner Ducks, Aylesbury Ducks and Khaki Campbell Ducks - they're currently being looked after in our on-site duckery. We hope you're all doing ok - we're here if anyone wants to chat ❤️ pic.twitter.com/jWpuNe0PIW— WWT Martin Mere (@WWTMartinMere) April 8, 2020
And ducks that eat meat. The black-necked grebes (well, sort of ducks) at Arundel enjoy a bit of everything it seems. Burger anyone?
Enjoy a bit of breakfast with the black-necked grebes - these meat, fish and insect eaters are enjoying a bit of beef mince courtesy of our keepers who are still working hard onsite. pic.twitter.com/QhUidY9imj— WWT Arundel Wetland Centre (@WWTArundel) March 27, 2020
At all our centres animals are still busy nesting and rearing their young.
From the tiny adorable harvest mouse busily readying her nest for new arrivals
…to this picture of perfect family harmony from the black-necked swans at Llanelli
Monday evening fluff update!— WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre (@WWTLlanelli) March 30, 2020
Some cheerful news for us all to enjoy - the black-necked swan family is doing great. We love the happy little 'peeps' from the cygnets as they eat. Very relatable.
Thanks to warden Ryan for sharing this vid with us. pic.twitter.com/ToCRZ2NJyY
… to one of the most magnificent birds in the world, the Japanese crane, gently caring for her eggs at Martin Mere.
And, how could we forget about the flamingos!
The Carribbean flamingos at Llanelli were certainly up for celebrating the first ever International Flamingo day last month. Check out our fabulous flamingos showing you how it’s done.
🦩It’s International Flamingo Day!🦩— WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre (@WWTLlanelli) April 26, 2020
Here’s a little video of our wonderful Caribbean flamingo flock to brighten up your day.
Watch some of the interactions between the birds and you get an idea of how complicated their social structure really is!💖#internationalflamingoday pic.twitter.com/TtRQHdyRQR
And if you need a bit more to fill the flamingo sized hole in your life, catch up on our last FB live at WWT Washington with the Chilean flamingos.
How about our less showy residents?
The water voles at Slimbridge seem pretty content with life under lockdown. They’re usually super shy so it was great to spot Louise (she lives with her sister, Thelma) snacking on some willow.
Living Collections Supervisor, Rosie Griffin, tells us that they are being spotted more during the day when they venture out for the food they like to nibble on like willow, hawthorn, reeds and rushes.
Like all of us they’re getting some well-deserved extra treats at the moment. With staff giving them tasty greens like romaine lettuce, which they’re enjoying.
If you’re out and about you might spot one along waterways, nibbling on lower hanging vegetation. It's the perfect time of year to spot water voles in the wild as they are much more active. In normal circumstances we would be busy surveying them now.