Calf with unusual marking causes a stir at wetland trust

Minnie the calf, at Welney.Picture: Bob Ellis.

Minnie the calf, at Welney.Picture: Bob Ellis. - Credit: Archant

A calf with unusual markings has been nicknamed Minnie by staff at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, in Welney.

Minnie the calf, at Welney.Picture: Bob Ellis.

Minnie the calf, at Welney.Picture: Bob Ellis. - Credit: Archant

Her distinctive white forehead would normally be unusual enough, but her black, mouse silhouette really makes her stand out from the herd.

Minnie, her mother and the rest of their herd are grazing an area of wetland at Welney over the summer months.

They have an important role as wetland managers; with duties include munching the grasses, poaching mud at the water’s edge, attracting insects for birds spreading seeds by fertilizing the land.

Reserve warden Louise Clewley said: “The cows do a fantastic job, creating a mosaic of grasses that provide the ideal habitat for a wide variety of birds. “Species like the lapwing and the rare black-tailed godwit prefer short grass so that they can easily spot predators; whereas snipe and redshank rely on their camouflage and so prefer tussocks of longer grass.


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“This year has been an awesome year for breeding birds on the reserve and the cattle are getting it in great shape”

Visitors can watch the herds of cattle from the wetland centre and the hides out on the reserve, often catching sight of the yellow wagtail that like to feed around their feet. Early visitors might be able to catch a glimpse of the wardens carrying out their daily cattle checks, as they go from herd to herd by motorbike. For more information about WWT Welney go to wwt.org.uk/welney.

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