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09 Dec 2011

Arrival of the Royal Couple!

Posted in All

Strong south-westerly winds did not deter our Royal couple, William and Katherine, from pushing on to Slimbridge this week.

The pair, named earlier in the year in honour of the Royal marriage, arrived back for their seventh winter together.

They are now joined by around 90 Bewick’s, most of whom are now making frequent daytime use of the Tack Piece, an area of our reserve managed specifically for grazing wildfowl.

As well as being able to watch the swans from our hides, we now have fantastic views of them flying in from the surrounding fields before the 4pm feed.

William (by C. Butters)

Katherine (by C. Butters)

The gusty winds caused some dangerous flying conditions yesterday and so the swans didn’t venture very far, preferring to sleep against the elements a mere hop from the lake instead.

A total of 140 individuals have visited us so far this winter which is now slightly higher than the average seen by this time over the past five-years (127 birds).

However, although the Slimbridge faithfuls have pressed ahead, many birds remain further east, and there are still relatively low numbers in north-west Europe.

No doubt these gusty westerlies will not be helping the great migration so we will have to wait for a change in the weather before we see any great numbers arriving again….