• Claire Stott

WWT Llanelli: Close encounters

Llanelli Wetland Centre offers a unique experience to get up close and personal with many of it’s residents, including many rare and endangered species. With most of the birds here very tame and approachable the centre provides the opportunity to hand feed it’s ducks and geese with bags of seed supplied by the visitor centre.

It’s me! In a rare moment in front of the camera, feeding a red breasted goose.

The birds recognise the rustle of these paper bags and eagerly wander over, quacking with excitement and keen to get their next handful of food.

These tiny black, white and grey bufflehead ducks were almost always the first on the scene and would boldly chase many of the larger birds away.

A bufflehead duck first to the food

For a bird lover like me it was a memorable and very rewarding experience. Even my husband, initially reluctant was soon getting stuck in.

My husband making some avian friends!

A tiny moorhen, Even more diminutive next to his huge size 11 feet!

In fact, rather annoyingly, many of the birds ignored my handouts and wandered over to him for food instead. At least this gave me the opportunity to capture the close encounters on camera.

Above a female mallard, and below a male red crested pochard feeding from the hand.

Some of the ducks, much like our mallards here at home, have little finese when it comes to picking seeds from your hand. Instead they simply peck away with a snapping beak with little regard for your fingers!

These goldeneyes need to work on their table manners!

Thankfully the majority of the birds were much more refined when it comes to their table manners. This large magpie goose could easily have done damage with it’s rather menacing hooked beak but it was surprisingly gentle.

The snow geese were a little shy and very easily startled, it took some time and patience before they finally gave in to the temptation of food.

A pair of somewhat reluctant snow geese

Much less shy was this tall and intimidating swan goose, with a stern expression and huge beak. Having sent the other geese scattering it wandered over with a swagger before tucking in to a handful of seed, again with surprising care and gentleness.

Coming closer…

Hand feeding the huge swan goose

Unfortunately, having only taken the 300mm zoom lens with me and the other half preoccupied I didn’t get many images of me with the birds, but I did at least get a few blurry images and videos on my mobile phone.


Any takers?

The swan goose, looking huge next to my tiny hands!

The gorgeous monochome brent goose

Gaining the trust of the snow geese

All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2019 © www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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#outdoors #wildfowl #birdphotographer #birdsightings #WWTllanelli #Daysout #birds #llanelliwetlandcentre #ducks #conservation

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