Fluff and Feathers


 

Nesting Swan at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

 

I’ve been wanting to return to Slimbridge for ages, so on the one decent weather day this week we decided just to go for it. Late Spring is one of the best times of year to go.

 
 
 

 

“Don’t even think about it..”

The jackdaw got the message.

 
 
 

 

Baby chicks are everywhere..

Moorhen

 
 
 

 

Resting up after dinner

 
 
 

 

“I know, the whiskers need attention. But can you believe the size of my feet?”

 
 
 

 

Slimbridge is located in an area of natural wetland alongside the Severn Estuary, Gloucestershire. It was opened in 1946 by the artist and naturalist Sir Peter Scott. The variety of ducks, geese and swans is astonishing.

 
 
 

 

Greater White-cheeked Pintail

 
 
 

 

Eider duck

The UK’s heaviest duck. Their call is amazing, I really wish we’d had a video camera. There are a lot of them at Slimbridge, the decibels were high!

 
 
 

 

From the heaviest duck to the smallest swan…

Coscoroba swan, native to South America.

 
 
 

 

Bar-headed goose

This is thought to be the world’s highest flying goose, migrating across the Himalayas.

 
 
 

 

I couldn’t identify these two characters.

They, and many other species, are free to roam across the grounds. There are identification panels around but the inhabitants don’t necessarily choose to stay close to theirs!

 
 
 

 

Since we were last at Slimbridge the WWT have built a rather impressive observation area next to the Flamingo Pool. The floor is sunken below the level of the water so effectively the viewer is at eye level with the nests.

 
 
 

 

“What you looking at… this is all ours, OK?”

 
 
 

 

It’s also possible to sit in one of several hides to view the scene across the wilder areas of the wetland. I wish we’d had more time, it was so peaceful and I could have sat there for hours. The birds here are far more cautious.

 
 
 

 

We did manage to spot at least three pairs of Greylag geese with young.

 
 
 

 

Nene (Hawaiian Goose)

The species was rescued from extinction thanks to the breeding programme at Slimbridge. Large numbers have been reintroduced to the wild, but the population here are extremely tame. The public areas provide great access to the birds.

 
 
 

 

Some get impatient.

 
 
 

 

 It’s no good trying to ignore them either…

 
 
 

 
 

And finally…

 
 
 

 

 “Ha Ha. Ha Ha HAAAA!!!”

Sentry Duty.

 
 
 

 

“You guys still here?”