Saturday, 11 February 2017

Slimbridge 7/2/17 - Brilliant visit, top class day!

One of the best days in a long time spent at Slimbridge today. Sunny skies with a little cloud and even a shower plus a rainbow.  The morning started at the Rushy Hide and we worked our way down through the other hides towards the Holden Tower. Plenty of ducks, waders, swans, Curlews and Cranes out on the Tack Piece. Great views of the White fronted Geese from Robbie Garnet Hide plus a close flypast made our day.  In fact this whole area was simply alive with birds today. Occasionally a mass flock of Lapwings, Golden Plover, Godwits and Dunlin would take to the air, a brilliant sight. Plenty of Teal, Wigeon and Pintails also on view.  The sights and sounds of calling and whistling from the birds today was just pure magic! 
We also had a couple of good views of a Water Rail from the Willow Hide screen and the Kingfisher Hide, haven't seen one in ages.
Our visit took us to all of the hides on the reserve but the Tack Piece area was the most productive and saw us making a return visit. By this time it was starting to cloud up a little producing a shower complete with a rainbow.  What a brilliant atmosphere so many birds and colours against dark skies, sun and rain an amazing scene unfolding before our eyes.
A last visit to the Holden Tower and the large flock of Barnacle Geese had moved in a little closer. 2 foxes suddenly came into view and ran off across the estuary I guess the Geese and Cranes a little big for them.
With 58 species of birds seen what a fantastic and memorable day, I think the rainbow brought us our pot of gold! 

   Bewick's Swan

                   Black tailed Godwits


                   Lapwing on the pull

   Tufted Duck - lovely purple sheen on the head and a fast flyer!

                   Lapwings and Shelduck

  Buzzard - always one or two seen at Slimbridge

                   Buzzard leaving its post

                   Almost eye level glide



   Greylag Geese  - plenty of these characters at Slimbridge 


   Beautiful and graceful Bewick's


    Bewick's family - not long now until they will be heading back East.

                   Tufted Duck

  Lapwing, Black tailed Godwits, Shelduck & Wigeon

                   Curlew flock - you don't often see a flock in flight! 

   Pintail - a striking male 

                  Pintail flemale equally striking with more subtle tones

   Lapwing and Dunlin chaos

                   Bewick's amongst the melee 

    Lapwings came fairly close at times

                   Water Rail - very secretive 

   Love that eye!

                   White fronted Geese - great to see these geese

   Cranes heading off

                   A little beauty

   Water Rail - amazing colours revealed as it preens 

                   Graceful Lapwing


    Shoveler pair

                   Double Bill

    Superb to see the Cranes on nearly every visit to Slimbridge now


   Good views of the Cranes from the hide 

                   European White Fronted Geese - star of the day for me


   First time I've heard the call of the White Fronted Goose as it flew quite close to the hide

                   Shoveler greeting!

   Golden Plover whizzing on past

                   Golden Plover - superb when the light catches their colours


                    Birds & Rainbow

   Tufted Duck zooming past


   Pochard coming into land

                    Wheels down


                   Bewick's through a rainbow 



   Pairing up for Spring? 

                    Fantastic plumage on the Pintail


                   Water Rail 

                    Fox and Canada Geese - the fox ran on past the Geese

    I think the Cranes were just a little too big for the fox!

                   Barnacle Geese 


   Some of the large number of Barnacle Geese, lovely little goose. 

No comments:

Post a Comment