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Stories from the Russian Arctic
14 Jan 2020

Stories from the Russian Arctic

With Bewick's numbers falling by 40 percent since the mid-1990s, and as many as a third having shotgun bullet pellets in their bodies, WWT has been working with the local community in their Russian breeding grounds to help conserve these endangered swans...

International Swan Census: January 2020
08 Jan 2020

International Swan Census: January 2020

Internationally coordinated censuses of the Northwest European Bewick’s swan population have been undertaken across the swans’ European wintering range at approximately 5-year intervals since 1984, with the next census scheduled for the weekend of 11/...

The Big Brood Count!
23 Dec 2019

The Big Brood Count!

Around the weekend of 14/15 December the Swan Specialist Group held a co-ordinated count in Europe to find out how many cygnets were born this year. The NW European wintering population has been declining since the mid-1990s. To try to understand this dec...

Feeding in the fields
11 Dec 2019

Feeding in the fields

With winter in full swing, many Bewick’s swans have arrived at their wintering sites in northwest Europe. WWT’s centres provide some of the most important roost sites for the swans visiting Britain, with WWT Welney alone supporting more than 30% of Eu...

Swan Special Issue
05 Dec 2019

Swan Special Issue

WWT is well known for carrying out research to help us better understand the threats faced by swans and how we can help. In October 2018 some of our scientists travelled to Tartu in Estonia for the 6th International Swan Symposium, a global gathering o...

Cold weather brings swan fall!
03 Dec 2019

Cold weather brings swan fall!

Dipping temperatures encouraged thousands more Bewick’s swans to push on with their migration through Europe over the weekend, triggering a ‘swan fall’ at Slimbridge! Numbers on the reserve jumped from 25 on Friday to 63 today which kept swan res...

WWT's Julia Newth discusses science, swans and Slimbridge
03 Dec 2019

WWT's Julia Newth discusses science, swans and Slimbridge

Swan expert Dr Julia Newth reveals what it is like being part of one of the longest studies of any single species. ...

Bewick's touch down at Slimbridge!
13 Nov 2019

Bewick's touch down at Slimbridge!

The first two Bewick’s of the winter have arrived at Slimbridge wetland centre fresh from the Russian arctic! The adult male was immediately recognised by its distinctive black and yellow bill pattern as a bird named Gastro by our researcher Steve Heave...

Bewick's on the move!
25 Oct 2018

Bewick's on the move!

Thousands of Bewick’s swans are on the move as they escape the arctic winter which is rapidly closing in on their breeding grounds in northern Russia. ...

Spring migration after the snow!
09 Mar 2018

Spring migration after the snow!

The 1st of March is the official start of spring here in the UK but last weekend told a rather different story! The Bewick’s swans were forced to stay where they were and hunker down as an unusually late cold snap brought blizzards from the south-west...

First Swan Specialist Group website launched!
09 Mar 2018

First Swan Specialist Group website launched!

Swan Specialist Group website We are very pleased to announce the launch of the first Wetlands International-IUCN/SSC Swan Specialist Group website! We hope that the website will provide a platform to facilitate effective communication between members a...

My life with whooper swans
02 Mar 2018

My life with whooper swans

I am Damien and I’m back again to talk to you about our amazing, fantastic winter visitors, the Icelandic whooper swans, and to give you an insight into my thoughts on how I feel when they spend the winter with us here in Lancashire and the epic migrati...

Dealer reunites with Croupier!
26 Jan 2018

Dealer reunites with Croupier!

When Croupier arrived in December without Dealer, his long-term partner of 19 years, we feared the worse. It is rare for long-term partnerships to dissolve whilst both birds are still alive and we therefore resigned ourselves to the likelihood that Dealer...

Swan catching
12 Jan 2018

Swan catching

This week was ‘catch week’. Every winter, we try and catch a number of Bewick’s swans at Slimbridge. Our monitoring is usually very hands off and involves us creeping around in hides in efforts to study the swans’ natural behaviours unbeknown to t...

Winter reflections
22 Dec 2017

Winter reflections

As the festive season is upon us, we are still waiting for our annual ‘swan-fall’ here in the UK. On one or two days every winter, we are treated to the mass arrival of Bewick’s swans from the Russian arctic, usually pushed in our direction by persi...