Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Show Me The Way to Go Home (Via Slimbridge) 20th April

Well all good things must come to an end, so its off home, after first getting breakfast in Weston for old times sake. Spent may a wet hour there when the children were little, then off up the M5 and to Slimbridge WWT for a few hours and lunch.
It's really not a great time for Slimbridge as its the lull after all the winter birds have left. But still enjoyable with a couple of surprises.
The solitary  Lesser Scaup is still there among the Tufties:
Note: This is the male captive, not the wintering female
And a happy Tuftie:
There were a huge amount of Shelduck about:
The South hide did produce a surprise, an Egyptian Goose, there happened to be a WWT Volunteer in the hide so I asked him about it apparently it turned up a few days ago and isn't one of theirs, no rings on it, so a tick! Otherwise from there it was BH Gulls, 

Lapwing, Oystercatcher, 

Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Shelduck, Greylag and Redshank. Interestingly they have had a pair of Nene Goose escape and these are now outside the captive birds area and enjoying themselves, this one was putting is head in through the hide window!

We spent quite a bit of time in most hides, but nothing was showing, we were hoping for Water Rail again, but they were shy today, we did get some Avocet though, they have had a few pairs arrive and they are hoping that they are nesting. There was a distinct lack of small birds, the only ones seen were GT/Blue Tits, Robin and Reed Bunting
Later in the day a large flock of Black Tailed Godwits arrived, which were best seen from the Zeiss Hide, among them were a few Bar Tailed as well.

There were a few aaahh! moments:
Couple of Mallard Chicks
And a pair of Nene with goslings:

And I couldn't resist this Mandarin: (He came out the water and didn't have any rings, so not sure if he was visiting!)
So the list for 4 hours! at Slimbridge was a meagre:
Avocet (8), Bar-tailed Godwit (40), Black-headed Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Coot, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, 

Lapwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Lesser Scaup, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Mallard, Mandarin Duck, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Pochard, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Robin, Rook, Sand Martin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Swallow, Teal, Tufted Duck and Woodpigeon.

Finally on the stretch of M5 between Bristol and Slimbridge, we had great showings of Buzzard and Kestrel, but they were topped by a Red Kite, so pleased, but surprised with that, I hadn't heard they were ranging along the M5 now as well as the M40!


  1. An enjoyable read of your trip to Somerset Tom, it brought back good memories of my trip to Glastonbury! RSPB Greylake was one of my favourite reserves, so peaceful. Glad you both had a rewarding trip!

    I can only suggest possibly Jessops for bins repair locally.

    1. Cheers Pam, yes I'm going to try Jessops this evening and hope they can get it back to us before Friday next week!
      I probably had a downer on Greylake as that's where we had the grief with the bins

  2. Im sorry to be the erronor of bad news, but your Lesser Scaup is actually a captive one, therefore uncountable (You can see its only got primary feathers on 1 wing), and the bird that has wintered there is infact a female bird, rather than the male you have photographed.
    However, i must say, very nice photos, I particuarly like the Oystercatcher

  3. Cheers MB,
    Of course you are right. I new the Lesser Scaup was still there and didn't think. Funnily he was near where I saw the female earlier this year and just put 2 and 2 together and got 5!