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
Follow the leader
Little Egret note the yellow feet
Bathing Crane - plus whirlpool!