Please note due to the heatwave, our Canoe Safari will be closing early at 3pm on Thurs 11 - Sun 14 Aug. Last canoe hire will be at 2pm.

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A visit to WWT Slimbridge is a completely unique experience from one month to the next. In the summer months breeding birds are in full swing and the first waders are returning from the Arctic. In the cold winter months the reserve is a hive of activity for migrants such as Bewick's swans and you stand a good chance of catching a glimpse of a short-eared or barn owl.

Here's what you can expect to see and when to help with planning your visit...


  • In December you can see large numbers of white-fronted geese and Bewick’s swans
  • Commentated wild bird feeds take place on the Rushy at 4pm and can be watched from the Peng Observatory
  • At dusk starlings can be seen doing their amazing acrobatic displays over the grounds
  • Bittern can be spotted from the Zeiss Hide
  • Enjoy the winter spectacle on the Tack Piece
  • During January winter bird numbers are usually at their peak with up to 30,000 wild wintering ducks, geese, swans and waders
  • Expect to see garden birds on the feeders at the Kingfisher Hide and the Willow Hide. Also water rail can usually be seen under the feeders
  • Bewick’s Swans start to leave the site from February
  • In February the first spring migrants begin to return; typically oystercatcher and avocet