Thursday, 24 March 2016

Slimbridge Visit - a sunny Spring morning 21/3

An early start for our visit to Slimbridge so that we could enter the hides before opening time through the members only side gate.  A good sunny morning so it was surprising that there were not many people around but also nice.  The Bewick's have now all left and winter duck species are getting fewer.  Good numbers of Avocets viewed from the Holden Hide and they look to be pairing up and looking at suitable nesting areas.  3 Cranes were out on the estuary as was a lone Peregrine sat on a post.  Nice to see a small group of White fronted Geese before they depart north.  We had a fantastic if fleeting view of a Water Rail with its catch a newt from one of the hides, didn't realise they would go for anything as big as a newt!  Still good numbers of Wigeon grazing plus Golden Plover out on the Tack and also increasing numbers of Shelduck and Oystercatchers
Cranes were seen all over the reserve and a Warden told us that there were about 15 that had flown up from the Somerset Levels and hopefully some of these will nest. 2 female Scaup are still on the Peng lake. Another highlight was a large flock of Black tailed Godwits nearly in full summer plumage and a fly past flash of blue of a Kingfisher not forgetting our first sighting of the beautiful Brimstone butterfly.
Another brilliant day at Slimbridge with a total of 55 birds seen including Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Shelduck, Pintail, Greater Scaup, Avocet, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Crane, White fronted Geese, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Curlew, Reed Bunting, Kingfisher, Little Egret etc

Avocet Island - Avocets pairing up 

                    Avocets and Shoveler

   Distant Peregrine - always one to be found on the estuary

                   Follow the leader

Avocet group

                   Territorial Shelducks


Charismatic Jackdaws

                   Skulking Water Rail

Water Rail plus catch of the day a poor newt

                   On the run 


                   Little Grebe


                   Wren sitting nicely

   Rook - a good number seen around the rookery


    Black tailed Godwit - good numbers seen now nearly in full summer plumage

                   Little Egret

                 Little Egret note the yellow feet


                    White Fronted Geese - off north any day now

   White Fronted goose

                   Bathing Crane - plus whirlpool!

   Grazing Wigeon

                   Preening Crane

   Shake down

Big bird

                   White fronted Goose


                   Greater Scaup - 2 females at the black of the lake

   Pintail splashdown

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