Friday, 12 January 2018

Slimbridge a cold winters and foggy day 10th Jan

We left Somerset with clear skies (though dark) and the promise of a fine clear day at Slimbridge. Unfortunately this was not to be. We reached Slimbridge at 8:15 to thick fog and it did not clear until about 1pm and then for only about an hour!  Visibility from all hides was very limited and the birds looked like mere ghosts through the fog. The tack piece had loads of birds on it and you could just about make out the ghostly white shapes of a good numbers of Bewicks and others. The calls of the Bewicks, Teal and Wigeon sounded pleasantly haunting and eerie through the fog and a bit annoying wondering what was out there!
Just for about an hour the sun broke out during our second visit to the Tack Piece area. At long last we could see some birds and amongst those from the Haldon Tower a flock of White fronted Geese, Barnacle Geese and Cranes etc. Lovely to see a good number of Ruff and Redshank and the lovely spectacle of hundreds of various waders and ducks take to the air when spooked.
Not the best of weather today but we still managed to see 59 species of birds inc Bewicks, White fronted Geese, Redpoll, Little Stint, Oystercatcher, Ruff, Redshank, Snipe, Black tailed Godwits, Curlew, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Pintail, Golden Plover, Treecreeper etc.






   Bullfinch, female

               
                   Tufted Duck in the mist

    Pochard

               
                

   Shelduck

                
                   Oystercatcher, only one seen from South Lake hide



                
                   Treecreeper, we usually see one on the way down to the Kingfisher hide.

   Incredibly fast as it searches for food around the trees

             
                
                   Goldfinch

   A reminder that the teasel is a great winter food source for Goldfinches

               
               



 
               



   'Ratty' taking advantage of fallen seed from the feeders


               
                   Good numbers of Snipe seen from Zeiss hide, these a little closer from Hogarth


   'King of the castle'

               
                


    Little Stint from the Peng Observatory 


               
                    Through the glass but the closest We've seen a Little Stint


    Nice to see a group of Ruff out on the 'tack piece' 


               
                    Pintail

   Mr and Mrs Pintail 

          
               
                   Almost guaranteed to see Cranes at Slimbridge now



               
                   White fronted Geese





               
                  Flock of W F Geese





                
                    The stars of my day, lovely to see the geese fly in



               


   Ruff and Redshank


               
                   Flock of Dunlin out on the Tack Piece

   White fronted Goose leaving a huge flock of Greylags to join his mates

               
               


   Female Pochard 


                
                    How big?

    Shelduck


                
                   Tufted Duck 


   Golden Plover 


               
                    Wigeon on the move





               






                
                   Wigeon, Pintail, Teal etc


   Masses of ducks spooked by something!

 
               



   Amazing spectacle to see


               


  Flock of Curlew also seen on the tack piece 


               
                  Black tailed Godwits


    Lapwings 


               
                   Just one Bewick's on Rushy

   Hidden Ruff


               
                    A Slimbridge Bewicks Swan