WWT Slimbridge - flamingos and cranes

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3 years 6 months ago #86692 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: WWT Slimbridge - flamingos and cranes
The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) have featured in my posts over the past 8 years or so due to my annual 'pilgrimages' to the London Wetland Centre when I still lived and worked out of South Africa. It was the brainchild of Sir Peter Scott, son of 'Scott of the Antarctic' who opened the Slimbridge Centre in 1946, an incredible 54 years before the London Wetland Centre came into being. WWT has had major successes in restoring viable populations of some of the world's most endangered birds, such as the Hawaiian Goose and Laysan Duck and is currently re-introducing the Common Crane into Britain from where it has been absent for over 400 years.

For more information on the history of the WWT go to http://www.wwt.org.uk/conservation/history-of-wwt/

I find the London Wetland Centre awesome, but was absolutely blown away by Slimbridge, which will be the subject of 4 posts. The first deals with flamingos and cranes. There are 6 species of flamingo world-wide and Slimbridge has large populations of 5 of the 6, with the high-Andean James's Flamingo being the odd one out. They have only a single bird and I could not locate it amongst the Andean Flamingo. So here are the 5 -

Andean Flamingo usually found on saline lakes at over 4,000m in the Andes of Chile, Peru and Argentina.

American Flamingo the reddest of the flamingos, these are also known as Caribbean Flamingo.

Chilean Flamingo, the commonest and only one of the three Andean flamingos that may migrate to lower altitudes

and now the more familiar Lesser Flamingo

and his African cousin the Greater Flamingo. Having missed out on seeing the breeding Lesser Flamingo at Kamfers Pan in Kimberley, and timing my visits to Lake Nakuru in Kenya outside the breeding season, I was amazed to see a breeding population of Greater Flamingo in south-west England <!-- s:!: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon/exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" /><!-- s:!: -->

Now to the cranes. This one is the Eurasian or Common Crane several dozen of which have been re-introduced to the wild in England since 2010.

and this one the Japanese or Red-crowned Crane from east Asia, and one of the rarest cranes in the world


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