Flood-lit swan feeding starts at Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust on November 1

Bewick's swans.PHOTO: JAMES LEE

Bewick's swans.PHOTO: JAMES LEE - Credit: Archant

Thousands of swans have started to arrive at Welney Wetlands Centre to spend the winter on the Ouse Washes – and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has lined up a series of events for visitors.

Bewick’s swans will fly 2,500 miles from Arctic Russia, while whooper swans will fly in after travelling 1,200 miles from Iceland.

Each year, up to 3,000 Bewick’s swans and 6,000 whooper swans arrive in East Anglia to spend the winter months on the wetlands of the Ouse washes, making it the most important wintering area for these swans in north west Europe.

Steve Wiltshire, warden for WWT Welney Wetland Centre, said: “Each year we anticipate the arrival of autumn with the first swans completing their migrations.

“These birds travel incredible distances to escape the colder winters of the northern regions to take refuge within the UK. When conditions are just right, it can be like Heathrow airport on the main lagoon with swans gliding down on to the water.”

Visitors can learn more about the swans at daily feeding sessions at 3.30pm with live commentary. There is a swans awake session on November 30 from 6.15am-9am; and floodlit evening swan feeds are held every Thursday to Sunday at 6.30pm, starting on November 1.

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