Thursday 2 February 2012: World Wetlands Day - Newport Wetlands
Each year on February 2nd it is World Wetlands Day. I just noticed that the first World Wetlands Day was founded in 1971, the year of my birth, so maybe I always destined to sit in freezing cold hides watching ducks!
There was only one place to go on World Wetlands Day, and that was to my second home of Newport Wetlands of course!
It was decidedly warmer in the hide in Newport than yesterday's Zeiss hide, but decidedly less Bitterns! Thank you for North/South facing hides and not ones straight into that ice cold Easterly!
If there is any bird that sums up British Wetlands, surely it has to be the Great Crested Grebe? The bird that almost disappeared from our country due to it's persecution for it's feathers. Ladies were rather keen to be decked in it's highly prized plumage .. it was rather more highly prized by the Grebes themselves, but that didn't stop the usual whole sale slaughter man sometimes brings about.
Fortunately, a group of women decided enough was enough, and formed a protection society top save the remaining pockets of Grebes, and called for a ban on their use for decoration .. such was a their determination that their society eventually got a royal seal of approval, and the Royal Society For The Protection Of Birds was formed, or the RSPB as we call it today!
Possibly the only Wetland bird that out trumps the Grebe is the Avocet. I blipped their story when I visited their spiritual home of Mimsmere last November.
You may be wondering why this bird in this picture was prized for it's plumage when it looks, well, quite dull. This bird is changing from his winter plumage to it's full show off resplendent feathers .. come back in a months time or so, and I will show the difference!
Tomorrow ... my first challenge entry .. A is for ....