River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Welney Wetlands and Wildlife Trust

February 2003

February Newsletter

The atmosphere on the Washes is just beginning to change as the nights begin to pull out once again. The very first Great Tits have started singing for Spring and last summers Whooper Swan cygnets are beginning to look a bit more 'grown up'. This varies from cygnet to cygnet with some of the cygnets now having quite a few white feathers whilst others still look very grey but the white part of their bill starting to change to Whooper Swan yellow.

As we head towards Valentines Day the Whooper Swans head turning display, making a heart shape with their head and necks, will be seen more and more frequently on the lagoon. Our half term family activities will be based around this romantic time of year. Our From Russia with Love Trail will offer the opportunity to find out more about the romantic lives of our wintering birds and solve the Valentines mystery. There will be the opportunity to make a token for a loved one. These activities will take place Saturday 15th - Sunday 23rd February daily anytime between 10am-5pm. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Before Christmas the Whooper Swan that the children of William Marshall School, Welney adopted called William joined the other swans in front of the main hide where he is seen from time to time. He was first brought to Welney with his parents Witham and Welland who nested at Sigurdarstadatjon in northern Iceland. This pair were ringed in 1994. In summer 1999 the scientists returned to the nest site to ring 1999's cygnets one being William. That autumn William flew 1200 miles to Welney with his family including 2 other cygnets. He attempted to return just with his 2 'sisters' but was blown off course but gales. He ended up on the coast of Norway at Stavanger. The young birds still managed to find their way back to Welney and remember the feed times!

The reserve at Welney has made a speedy recovery from some particularly deep flooding in the last couple of weeks. Thankfully the water level has dropped dramatically and it is business as usual once again. If you would like to visit the reserve to see the wild migratory swans we are open daily from 10am with swan feeds at 12 noon and 3:30pm. The swans fly back in from the fields at dusk and every night except Mondays and Tuesdays we feed the swans by floodlight at 6:30pm.

Copyright remains with independent content providers where specified, including but not limited to Village Pump contributors. All rights reserved.