Sunday, 1 March 2015

WWT Welney Wetland Centre

Yesterday I joined the RSPB Havering Local Group on their coach trip to Welney. I can't believe how long ago it was when I last visited 1997! The reserve has changed quite a lot in the last 18 years, not least there is now a new visitor centre, really good it is too.

Welney, in Norfolk, takes in 1,000 acres of the northernmost part of the Ouse Washes – Britain’s largest area of seasonally-flooded land and the setting for one of the most magical events in the UK’s nature calendar - mass winter gatherings of many thousands of wild ducks, geese and swans.

The Bewick Swans had apparently left for their return migration during the last week, but there were still good numbers of Whooper Swans around. Many were feeding out in the fields but at least fifty were viewable from the hides with most being very close. It was too easy to take portrait shots of them, so I had a go at a few action shots!

Arriving in formation

Touch down and the Pochards scatter, just in time!

drake Pochard

Lots of Pochard around, must have been at least 300 with 99% of them drakes. The man from WWT explained this, they breed in northern Europe and the drakes return to the breeding grounds before the females and set-up their territories. So, they like to winter not too far south, whereas the females will winter in France & Spain.
Pied Wagtail