The Estuary

The migration service station

The Severn Estuary is one of several key resting points for migrating bird on their trips from breeding ground to overwintering area. The western estuaries of the Atlantic arc act like refueling stations on international flights. Many stay here for the entire winter, and the estuary is particularly important during cold winters when its milder climate keeps it free from ice.

The birds are cunningly adapted to seek out the worms and other invertebrates. Long beaks pry deep into the mud to grab prey before it burrows too deep, and elongated legs allow them to wade in shallow water and increase their foraging time.

The estuary is protected in many ways.

The Severn Estuary provides such an important habitat for birds, it is protected in many ways. Wading birds are under threat form loss of habitat, increased disturbance and the challenges of changing climate.

Long legs increase foraging time

Below is an illustration of the variations in length and curvature of beak to enable waders to exploit a variety of food sources (illustration courtesy of Severn Estuary Conservation Group).

Where to find out more about birds-

The ASERA website has more on the species of birds that are protected

Where to go to see birds on the estuary-

The best places to visit to see birds-
Bridgewater Bay
Newport Wetlands
Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust