A Wild Winter Weekend away at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre
Written by Community Editor on 4th January 2022
On Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 January, Slimbridge will be hosting a weekend of demonstrations and bird watching events with their Wild Winter Weekend, a celebration of the wildlife that calls the reserve home for the winter.
Winter is an amazing time to visit the wetland centre with up to 30,000 wintering birds across the reserve to admire!
Throughout the weekend Slimbridge will be bustling with activities;
Head out onto the reserve and meet expert Guides in Hides who will be on hand to help you identify the winter wildlife between 11am – 3pm. Guides will be based at the fully accessible Estuary Tower, Zeiss Hide, South Lake Discovery Hide, Rushy Hide and Peng Observatory.
On the Saturday visitors can witness the historic practice of catching wild ducks with a specially trained dog, in a Duck Decoy Demonstration, at 2pm. When WWT founder, Sir Peter Scott arrived at Slimbridge in 1946 he realised the potential of the onsite Victorian Duck Decoy as a method for catching birds for conservation including adding identification leg rings – allowing birds to be monitored and studied for years to come.
Head along to an Optics Demo between 10am – 4pm on Saturday or 10am – 3pm on Sunday, with a representative from Viking. There will be a range of optics available including scopes and binoculars for visitors to test out and products will also be available for purchasing on the day.
There are also pre-bookable events including the popular Birding for Beginners on both mornings from 8-10.30am. Visitors can get to grips with bird identification with the help of one of Slimbridge’s experienced wardens. Join them to complete the morning visits to the bird hides and see a wide variety of species including waders, ducks and passerines. The event is followed by a breakfast roll in the Kingfisher Kitchen.
New to 2022, the weekend will also include pre-bookable Winter Wader ID workshops on both days at 11am – 12 noon and Winter Wildfowl ID Workshops at 2-3pm. These one hour workshops will provide the perfect opportunity to learn hints and tips on how to identify some of Slimbridge’s winter wildlife.
After a day of brilliant birding, experience the magic of the Winter Wild Bird Feed at 4pm in the Peng Observatory. Visitors can watch the wardens as they head out on the Rushy Lake to feed thousands of wintering birds and find out more about the beautiful Bewick’s swans who migrate to Slimbridge from Russia each winter.