A variety of birds and other wildlife can be seen during every season at the WWT Llanelli centre in Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Mandarin duck. WWT Llanelli
Coral-pink Caribbean flamingos and multi-coloured Mandarin ducks are just a couple of the regulars down at Llanelli’s Wildfowl and Wetland Trust centre. However, from August each year the site becomes fully-booked with a whole range of migrating birds that use the area as a pit stop where they can build up their fat reserves before the next big leg of their journey southwards, while others will be wintering at the site itself. All in all, around 45,000 birds migrate here for the winter, but the site is always filled with a huge variety of life no matter what time of year you visit.
During the summer months visitors can even take to the water themselves by taking one of the centre’s canoes out for a spin. Paddling into areas otherwise inaccessible to visitors, it is possible to gain a duck’s-eye-view of the site. Make your way around the reed beds where dragonflies can be seen flittering above the water as you go in search of the site’s various wildfowl. If you’re very lucky you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive water vole community that has made itself at home here. The centre is a National Key Site for water voles and only the second destination in Wales to be designated as such.
If you’d rather stay on dry land, bikes can also be borrowed to explore the snaking trails around the Millennium Wetlands that make up a large portion of the site. For those looking for a less exertive way of watching the site’s winged visitors, a series of hides are available that look out across the salt marsh where oystercatchers, sandpipers and redshanks are among the species that can often be seen going about their business.
Meanwhile, the main core of the site holds a selection of different zones where birds from around the world can be seen, including those from South America, Australia and Asia. Some of the site’s feathered residents are even tame enough to feed by hand.
Come spring, the site is bursting with new life and the chance to coo over tiny ducklings alone makes a visit well worthwhile!
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