Birding biker at Welney reserve

Biking Birder ANL-150514-085017001

Biking Birder ANL-150514-085017001

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A special visitor to the WWT Welney Wetland Centre was the Biking Birder – as part of his UK tour to break a British record and raise money for charity.

The Biking Birder, also known as Gary Prescott, met staff and visitors at his eighth WWT reserve.

Gary is repeating the tour that he first made in 2010, to try and reclaim the title as well as visiting new sites such as WWT Steart Marshes which wasn’t in existence when he last put foot to pedal.

During the tour Gary is hoping to break the record for the British Green Year List Record, currently at 251.

He managed to get one bird closer at WWT Welney by adding hobby to his list, in amongst the 56 species he spotted during the day, which isn’t bad compared to the 80-90 species normally recorded by the reserve team.

Whilst sitting in the cafe enjoying his breakfast he managed to spot 20 species on the bird feeders and Lady Fen.

Gary said: ‘Travelling around the UK like this, you get to really appreciate these sites.

“Before arriving at WWT Welney I camped alongside the Ouse Washes, and to wake up to snipe drumming and cranes bugling was just fantastic.”

Unfortunately Gary missed the arrival of swifts at Welney, which happened just three days after his visit.

Swifts are one of the last birds to arrive for summer in the UK, but there are still plenty of other species passing through such as Tundra ringed plovers.

Emma Brand, events and marketing officer for WWT Welney said: “Gary is a brilliant example of how captivating birds can be.

“To want to see all the variety of bird species that the UK has to offer, but to do it in a way that doesn’t impact on the environment and raises money for charity at the same time is incredible.

“It’s not just birds that Gary has been spotting, looking back through the photos he has taken there were some lovely images of ruby tiger moths. He’ll be seeing more insects, mammals, amphibians and reptiles as the summer warms up.

“We wish Gary the best with his journey and hope to see him again in the future.’

“We may well see Gary at WWT Welney again this year if he still needs to spot a Bewick’s swan come December.

“With almost 800 Bewick’s swans counted at WWT Welney at the same time last year, there should be a good chance of Gary managing to spot one.”