Norfolk Journey: Welney Whooper Swans

And so to the last day of our Norfolk Journey -for this year at least- and we find ourselves back at the Wildfowl reserve at Welney on the Norfolk – Cambridgeshire border.

I got talking to one of the volunteer wardens as I was surprised to already see Whooper Swans on the reserve as these are winter visitors from the Arctic. She explained that they now have a small resident population made up of pairs where one of the pair has been injured and so cannot fly well enough to migrate in the spring and the autumn. The wonderful thing is that although one of the pair is perfectly ok, their pair-bonding is so strong that they stay on with their mate rather than migrate with the rest of the population. These pairs have begun to breed, but the youngsters do not stay with their parents when it comes time to migrate the following spring but go north with the rest of the birds to their normal breeding grounds.

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