Saturday, 24 March 2018

Slimbridge 20/3 Jack Snipe, Ruff, Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits

We arrived at Slimbridge at 8am on a lovely sunny morning our main target of the day being the Jack Snipe that had been seen from the Knott hide the day before.  So it was straight down to the Knott hide where other people had gathered in the the hope of seeing the Jack Snipe. Alas it was no where to be seen at present but there was still a lot going on, plenty of Wigeon, Black tailed Godwits, Redshank and Ruff all busily feeding and sharing the area.  We have never seen so much bird life from this hide before, it was brilliant to get such great views of the birds. Later in the day whilst settling for lunch in the Peng observatory I checked my phone to see what birds had been seen around the area.  Suddenly while scrolling through 'twitter' Jack Snipe now from Willow hide! Lunch was forgotten and we made our way quickly to the Willow hide.  A few people had gathered and we all shuffled around so that we could see the snipe through the viewing gaps in the wall. There it was Jack Snipe in all its beautiful glory. Wow! we have waited so long to see this bird and it didn't disappoint, it even performed its characteristic little bobbing dance.
  From the Wilow hide next door we had  a quick glimpse of a Water Rail plus there were all the smaller birds on the feeders.
Out on the Tack piece was a huge flock of White fronted Geese and with these was the lone Red Brested Goose.  Still a few Pintail around as well as Shoveler, Teal and a great number of Wigeon. Not much from the Holden tower early on except for a Marsh Harrier out on the coastal marsh but on our second visit the large flock of Barnacle Geese made an appearance.  From Rushy early am there were plenty of Pintail and right at the back a few Avocet. On our return visit later on one or two Avocet had moved a lot closer to the hide.
On to South Hide Lake where there were plenty of Black headed Gulls displaying noisily and a few Common Gulls. A few Avocets were feeding and a flock of Black tailed Godwits flew in.  Pochard, Tufted and Teal were also seen.
Surprisingly there was not a lot to be viewed from the South finger hides today but none the less it was an enjoyable walk.  50 species of birds seen today the highlight being Jack Snipe and the summer plumage Godwits plus the Oystercatchers. Can't wait to revisit ..... 

    Black Tailed Godwits coming into summer colour 


   Great colours coming through to help with camouflage in their breeding grounds 

                   Godwit yet to get its colour


                   Oystercatchers being very territorial and noisy over the reserve



   Jackdaw with nesting material

                    Herring Gulls busily pairing up

   A few Common Gulls on South Lake

                    Canada Goose flexing its feathers

                    Good numbers of Godwits on South Lake

   Avocets and Godwits on South Lake

                   Teal keeping an eye out



   Jack Snipe seen between the Willow and Knott hides


    Just couldn't believe we were actually watching a Jack Snipe!


                    Jack Snipe drew quite a crowd 




                   What a stunning bird

    Female Wigeon also seems to be getting a different colour, a rosy glow!

                    Male Wigeon



                   Wigeon male and female

    Black tailed Godwit from Knott Hide

                   There's something about Godwits, so elegant 

                   Female Wigeon 

   2 of the Barnacle Geese part of a large flock




   Godwits on the Water, 'spooked' there by something

                   Oystercatcher giving a Redshank the evil eye

   Not too sure what the Redshank said to the Oystercatcher 

                    I don't think the Tufted duck likes bullies! 

   Spring is in the air as the Oystercatchers pair up






   All over in seconds and the male walks off! 

                   Redshank and Wigeon 

   What did you say?


                   Pintail in a flap


    Avocets seen from 'Rushy'


   Great to get a good view of this graceful bird