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Wintering Whoopers

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Whooper Swans

Whooper Swans start arriving in the UK in October, but their numbers usually peak from November through to March.

Whoopers congregate on the south coast of Iceland before they make the epic flight across to the UK.  It's a journey of some 500 miles (800km) as the swan flies which they complete in a remarkable 12 hours.  Whoopers prefer to spend the winter here because unlike Iceland our lakes and rivers rarely freeze over so they're able to continue feeding right through the winter.

Estimates vary, but it's believed more than 10,000 Whooper Swans make the journey to the UK each year.  They can be seen in Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England and parts of East Anglia.  Best places to get a good view are the WWT reserves at Martin Mere, Caerlaverock and Welney.

Whooper Swans and Pochard Ducks at Welney

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