animalia, Europe, UK

birds of a feather flock to Slimbridge

Bec / 09/12/2018

Through a picturesque village, over a canal, down a narrow road, surrounded by green fields and bordered by the River Severn Estuary lies Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Founded by Sir Peter Scott, son of Captain Robert Scott, the Antarctic explorer who, in his dying letter, urged Peter’s mother to “make the boy interested in natural history”. WWT Slimbridge isn’t his only legacy – he also founded the WWF and drew the panda logo amongst other pursuits. So I guess mum took dad’s wishes very seriously.

A flamboyance of flamingos

Strolling through the grounds is a soothing experience, watching a wide variety of birds preening and paddling around. Several new chicks bumped up the cute factor and we could have watched them for hours as they explored their surroundings. 

New life at Slimbridge

The area is all open, and the birds come and go all through the year. Bewick’s swans visit in the colder months and a range of other migratory birds change the scene each season. We covered a lot of ground going from pond to lake to bird hide to estuary. 

Mother goose
New addition to the flock

One of the big highlights for me was being able to hand feed several geese and ducks…though some are gentler than others – large white swans are pretty indiscriminate when it comes to eating and don’t mind if it’s food or your finger!

A little more than tuppence a bag, and worth all the extra pennies
Flamingos make one-legged yoga poses look easy
That looks painful – guess you have to be the giraffe of the bird world
There are at least three species of flamingo at Slimbridge making it the UK largest flock – and perhaps the most colourful
Not everyone is happy to share their home with opportunistic crows
Blowing bubbles
The crested screamer has a badass name to go with their rather scary size at nearly 1m tall – wouldn’t want to ruffle his feathers – he’s even got fighting spurs on the end of his wings

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