We’re back with another reserve roundup and the final throws of the autumnal dice in November are done. Birds that have migrated to our wetlands are settling in for the winter as the temperatures drop. They’re here to keep well-fed and to enjoy the relatively mild weather.
In what’s been a strange year for many, being able to find a constant in the natural world is a great consolation, so it was a relief when the first Bewick’s swans arrived earlier this month, a little later than usual.
We may be closed but we have exciting news🥰— WWT Slimbridge (@WWTSlimbridge) November 5, 2020
The Bewick's are back! 🦢🦢
The 1st arrivals are pair Primero (male) & Piquet (female).
📸 Placement Student, Katie Fox#ClosedButStillCaring pic.twitter.com/EbA4phNRUQ
We have 3 new arrivals! 🦢— WWT Slimbridge (@WWTSlimbridge) November 7, 2020
Here are Brule (male) & Hayar (female). They’ve been together for a few years after Brule lost his previous partner. Hayar was named by school children in Russia as part of #SwanChampions initiative. A 3rd swan is yet to be ID’ed! pic.twitter.com/4H5ht6CF32
There are now around 50 birds on site.
Big numbers of migratory birds were also present at Martin Mere.
Whilst birds at Caerlaverock seemed a little more relaxed…
Of course, winter isn’t just about large numbers of wintering birds – winter wetlands can be quiet and relaxing. Caerlaverock have been taking some time to reflect...
...While things at Steart have been getting a little frosty!
It’s brilliant to see elegant waders like curlew feeding up so well:
Eurasian Curlew have returned to spend the winter on the reserve's managed wet pastures. The Severn estuary, WWT Slimbridge reserve and hundreds of adjacent and inland fields are vital to this species survival locally. pic.twitter.com/0pQ8vK2wRk— Slimbridge Sightings (@slimbridge_wild) November 10, 2020
Meanwhile Welney have attracted a scarcer, larger, glossier version – the glossy ibis!
The new self-guided walk has allowed excellent views of some of the wetland wildlife on Lady Fen. Highlight today is 2 glossy ibis feeding along the ditches. 📷 of the last visitor back in 2014. pic.twitter.com/y9t6ip3EoG— WWT Welney (@WWTWelney) November 26, 2020
Another wader spectacle seen were the flocks of knot at Castle Espie:
Of course with so many bird species around, this supports our predators. The Slimbridge team were privileged to see a peregrine on a hunt:
Top New Piece- Peregrine on a kill, the wing tagged Marsh Harrier over the Dumbles, 65 Pintail, 430 Teal, 17 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Snipe, 175 Dunlin and 12 Shoveler on the flood, Water Rail calling #GlosBirds pic.twitter.com/zcBtfzgDQp— Slimbridge Sightings (@slimbridge_wild) November 4, 2020
And a sparrowhawk paid a visit to our London wetland centre:
We don’t often see mammals in our roundup as they are so elusive, but they are there, honest! The team at Llanelli managed to get some intimate footage of the seldom seen otter:
👀Take a peek at this fab trail cam footage of two otters slinking about on the reserve this week. Captured by student intern Ezra.🦦💙🦦— WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre (@WWTLlanelli) December 1, 2020
The resident otters have been known to make an appearance during the day, so keep your eyes peeled on your next visit! pic.twitter.com/Awto7wS2S5
Stay tuned for a video-update from a few of our sites in December. In the meantime, be sure to keep up-to-date with wildlife news on all centre social media channels or come and see it for yourself by booking a visit.