One such meeting took place last Sunday - fortunately a beautifully sunny, crisp winters day, at Slimbridge Wildfowl Centre. In my former life I spent a few months employed assisting the Swanherd at Abbotsbury Swannery and knew lots about different wild fowl. I am still very passionate about conservation and wildlife; although I had not visited Slimbridge myself I had heard good things about it so we were all really looking forward to spending the day there. The children donned their borrowed binoculars and joined a whole host of 'twitchers' excited about what they could spot.
We met the Hubby's folks there, I hired a scooter (by donation - a fantastic option for mobility impaired people) and we set off to explore and witness as many different breeds of birds as we could. We were certainly not disappointed.
Unfortunately, I have forgotten so much of my former knowledge - I simply couldn't mentally access the names of birds that seemed so familiar. So frustrating!! On the flip side, we all enjoyed looking them up in our bird books when we got home. I loved that. It extended the fun and the learning for us all. Although... I think we could all spot these pink fellas - beautiful flamingos!! There were actually three different types of flamingo there and we sat for some time watching their interesting antics. They really did have personality!
I was really impressed by the accessibility of the site. So much of wild terrain is beyond my access now and yes, if you wished there were more wild areas to visit; you could go further 'off road' or out towards the wetlands. However, the main path accessed all the key areas of the reserve, were well maintained and it was a delight to share this completely as a family. Some of the ducks and geese were tame enough to be fed by hand much to the Littlie's delight. There were also a couple of play areas and trees to climb to burn off excess energy when needed - perfect.
The sheer diversity of birds and wildlife at the reserve was awesome. I love the abundance of creatures in our world and the idea that just a fraction of the total are sheltering in this reserve. I find it a very spiritual experience to witness so much beauty surrounding me. There were a whole range of wildfowl (some of which are pictured above), three different types of Swans...
...and even some harvest mice!!
A very interesting, inspiring and wonderful day. It was a brilliant way to enjoy a rare blue skied, crisp winters day and we enjoyed the whole day there. We all left with lovely memories to treasure of time spent with family and I was reminded of natures beauty and abundance. Happy Days.
Happy weekend folks,