Swans at West Pinchbeck nature reserve

Whooper swan: 500 were seen flying over Willow Tree Fen on Monday. Photo: Amy Lewis
Whooper swan: 500 were seen flying over Willow Tree Fen on Monday. Photo: Amy Lewis
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On Monday evening 500 whooper swans were seen flying over Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s Willow Tree Fen nature reserve at West Pinchbeck.

Whooper swans are one of the two species of swan that spend their winters in this country, arriving from Iceland in late autumn and returning north again in the spring.

They will often feed on fields during the day, eating crops, before coming in to roost on open water.

The other migratory swan is the Bewick’s swan. They are smaller than whooper swans and have less extensive yellow markings on their bill.

The swans that are resident on our lakes and waterways all year round are mute swans. They are one of the most familiar birds in Britain and easily distinguished from whooper and Bewick’s swans by their reddish-orange bill with its large black bump.

Willow Tree Fen nature reserve was transformed from arable land to more traditional fenland landscape of shallow meres, seasonally flooded pastures, hay meadows and reedbeds.

The purchase of the area in 2009 increased Lincolnshire’s wild fenland by 200 per cent. The River Glen and Counter Drain provide wildlife corridors between the reserve and Baston Fen and Thurlby Fen Slipe.

The reserve is found on the Pode Hole-Tongue End road.