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Reserve update - whilst we are closed let us bring the reserve to you

Posted on 15 May 2020

Whilst our Welney Wetland Centre is closed to the public, our much reduced team continue working behind the scenes. Caring for the wetland habitat and wildlife, bringing the reserve to you the only way we currently can on the website and social media. Hopefully these weekly updates from the site will help you keep connected to our wildlife, the essential work that is carrying on and pull together links across our website and projects which you might find interesting.

Still no great rainfall event, so water levels are being monitored to make sure the reserve doesn’t dry out too quickly. Corncrake have returned and can be heard across the reserve after dark. Sadly some of our breeding birds are onto their second nesting attempts due to failing first time around, but we are staring to see the first broods of young birds around the reserve. With fewer people monitoring the reserve this year it is more difficult to get a handle on exactly how the breeding season is progressing and the level of detail is greatly reduced. Breeding bird surveys have been conducted for May and whilst the birds are tricky to capture at the time of doing a count, the flowers and cobwebs prove to be easier subjects. Many stands of yellow flag iris are coming into bloom now across the reserve, as well as damselflies and dragonflies on the wing.


The grounds and visitor facilities are being maintained as best we can, so that there isn't too large a list of things to do when the times comes to re-open and welcome visitors to the site once again. There are also some tasks being undertaken which cause far less disruption whilst we are without visitors, such as the replacement of decking to and from the footbridge to the reserve.


To date we have had 24 headstarted black-tailed godwits return to Welney in addition to the wild godwits. This year with no new headstarting we are relying on the hard work of the previous three seasons Project Godwit have had so far to boosting breeding oppotunities.

It was World Migratory Bird Day on Sat 9 May. WWT put out a video of black-tailed godwit migration as Cornelia, a head started bird from 2018, is the first Project Godwit birds to have the data downloaded and provide us with insight of exactly where she has been on her travels.


On Monday of last week WWT's Chief Executive, Martin Spray, retired from his role after 16 years. Martin managed to get to Welney for a visit in March to say goodbye to staff and volunteers, sadly the Coronavirus crisis prevented him for getting to many of the other sites. Read more about this story here > https://www.wwt.org.uk/news/2020/05/11/martin-spra...


You might also enjoy this breeding bird behaviour post up on the website which features a Welney redshank video - https://www.wwt.org.uk/discover-wetlands/waterlife-online/2020/05/14/while-humans-are-away-the-birds-put-on-a-display/18865