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The flamingo that thinks he's a swan

The 52-year-old Andean flamingo began floating when temperatures first soared a few weeks ago. Credit: WWT Slimbridge

A flamingo in Gloucestershire has shunned standing on one leg for floating in water in an effort to cool down.

Experts at Slimbridge Wetland Centre say they have never witnessed the "unusual" behaviour before.

The 52-year-old Andean flamingo began floating when temperatures first soared a few weeks ago.

He now regularly indulges in a mid-afternoon float, with his legs outstretched behind him.

Paul Rose, a flamingo expert at WWT Slimbridge, said: "Lots of flamingos go for a quick paddle around but I've never seen anything like this.

“I first noticed the unusual behaviour as the weather warmed up a few weeks ago so I think it is his way of keeping cool in the heat of the day.

“He floats with his legs outstretched behind him for long periods of time.

“I think it is his way of relaxing, as he seems very content. It is presumably the equivalent to a human floating in a swimming pool on a lilo.”

Round-the-clock guard for rare crane egg

The adult cranes are doing their best to protect their egg but Slimbridge has brought in extra security because it is so precious Credit: ITV News West Country

Conservationists at the Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire have set up a round-the-clock guard to protect the first crane egg laid in the South West in over 400 years.

Hunting and the loss of wetlands drove cranes to extinction in Britain.

For the last three years, the Great Crane Project has been rearing the birds in captivity and reintroducing them to the West Country.

The egg at WWT Slimbridge is the first known to be laid by cranes released by the project.

Bird spotters are able to see the male and female cranes taking turns at sitting on the nest.

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First cranes in 400 years nest at Slimbridge: full report

A group of young cranes have started building nests in our region - the first time they've done so in 400 years.

They were hatched and reared by people dressed as adult birds. They taught the birds skills to survive in the wild at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, then they were moved to a temporary enclosure on the Somerset Levels.

Now some of them have flown back to Slimbridge, from where Ken Goodwin reports:

Eight swans-a-swimming at Slimbridge

The largest Bewick's swan family ever recorded has arrived at the Wildfowl and Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire.

'Everton', and his new mate 'Rovers' have brought their six cygnets with them. They've joined 200 more of the threatened wild swans after a 2,500 mile journey from arctic Russia.

It may be "seven swans-a-swimming" in the carol but Slimbridge has gone one up!

Everton is on the left and Rovers is right of the six youngsters. The swan in front is just a passer-by Credit: James Lees

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Not too cold for mallard ducklings, who hatch way out of season

This wild mallard has shocked staff with her early brood Credit: Slimbridge Wetlands Centre

A wild duck has caused a stir in Slimbridge by hatching a brood of ducklings completely out of season.

You'd normally expect to see these mallard youngsters in the spring and summer months. The ducklings are thought to be only two-days-old. Over the next couple of weeks they will grow quickly and develop feathers.

Disadvantaged children to experience Slimbridge

The scheme funded by Western Power aims to get more youngsters to experience the natural world Credit: ITV West

A group of disadvantaged school children from Gloucester will get closer to nature today when they visit Slimbridge Wetland Centre. It's part of the 'Inspiring Generations Appeal' run by Western Power which aims to introduce youngsters to the natural world.

The funding from Western Power is expected to allow nearly 350 children to take part in the scheme in the coming months.

Find out more about Slimbridge Wetland Centre.

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