Slimbridge's Swan Lake lives up to its name as birds take refuge in their hundreds
STAFF at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Slimbridge have undertaken a count of visiting birds and discovered they are inundated with Bewick's Swans.
The team yesterday counted 276 wild Bewick's swans on the appropriately named Swan Lake at the reserve – the highest count of the winter so far.
This already surpasses last winter's top count of 198 birds and the five-year average of peak counts for the reserve, 242 birds.
A spokesman for the reserve said: "As the cold weather persisted this week, we saw a mixture of new arrivals – 50 over the last seven days – and birds returning from frozen roost sites in surrounding fields.
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"Fortunately the bubbler system on Swan Lake has kept the main water body ice free and with several barrows of grain being provided daily, it's proving very popular.
"There's nothing quite like seeing 2,000 birds eagerly feeding right in front of you."