Wildfowl flock to Pitsford Water

Whooper swans by Robin Gossage

It's been a great winter so far for wildfowl spotting at Pitsford

The final few months of 2018 have been excellent for birds at Pitsford Water nature reserve. It’s always a top spot for wintering wildfowl, but the number of ducks out on the water has been impressive. Large numbers of tufted duck, coot, widgeon and pochard are regular visitors to this site, which offers undisturbed and sheltered bays for them to safely feed in the shallow waters.

Two extra species of swan have joined the large number of mute swans which always flock to the nature reserve each winter. A group of eleven whooper swans including a couple of juveniles have chosen to stay around for a number of months, most likely visitors from Iceland who will have flown 800-1,400km over the sea to spend the winter in the UK. They were briefly joined by a single Bewick's swan who will have travelled all the way from the Russian tundra to escape the arctic winter. Both of these swans are smaller than the mute swans and have yellow and black on their beaks instead of orange.

Other species of interest have included pintail, red-crested pochard and a rare ring-necked duck from America, which has only been recorded at the site once before.

There is still time to pay a visit to Pitsford, north of Northampton, to see some of these amazing visiting wildfowl for yourselves. You'll need a permit, but it's free if you're already a member of the Wildlife Trust BCN. Find out more on our Pitsford Water nature reserve page.

And if you're not already a member, why not take advantage of our January offer and get 50% off if you join today!