Saturday, 7 January 2017
Slimbridge 3/1/17 - Bittern, Cettis, Bewick's etc
A cold, frosty and sunny day for our visit to Slimbridge with many of the water areas and pools remaining frozen all day. Only one half of South lake was unfrozen and it was here that there was good numbers of Pochard, Tufted, Teal, Shoveler, Shelduck & Greylag Geese. It was fascinating to watch unusual behaviour from a group of Shoveler as they spinning round and round in a group dabbling in the water in a tight little raft. A new feeding strategy?
Bewick's swans were still in the Rushy area and seen from the other hides. A family group were quite happy on the ice and they had no problem skating for take off!
Not too much was seen from the Holden Tower except for Barnacle, Canada and Greylag Geese.
All the usual small species of birds were clambering around the feeders at the Willow hide as well as an opportunistic rat.
As we arrived at the Kingfisher hide we were lucky to get a 2 minute view of a Bittern before it flew across to some reeds. At almost the same moment a Cettis Warbler sat nicely for a few seconds.
Back to a last visit to the Rushy hide where quite a long way out were a Dunlin & a Little Stint plus plenty of Pintail.
In summary we were a little surprised by the lack of birds on the 'tack piece' and estuary fields viewed from the Holden Tower. It was however a very enjoyable day at Slimbridge with 52 species seen and a nice little kick start to our new year list.
Shoveler circle - a group of about 20 spinning around in a group. Feeding?