Saturday, February 07, 2015

WWT Slimbridge

Dee and I decided to take a picnic and spend the day at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trusts Slimbridge reserve in Gloucestershire. Not everyone's cup of tea but we always enjoy getting close up to species you may not have the opportunity to come across in the wild.

Snowdrops are out!
A dank and dreary day weather wise but despite the cold lots of Snowdrops starting to show through and the birding was actually quite good too. A quick look in the Hogarth and Zeiss Hides found the pools mostly frozen over and so not a lot to see here, save for the odd Oystercatcher and a single Snipe in flight!

Brown Rat taking advantage!
However, the Martin Smith Hide provided some good views of several Bewick Swans, plus a couple of Common Crane feeding off towards the fenced area. A group of twenty or so Greylag Geese produced a trio of White-fronted Geese within and small selections of waders included: Golden Plover, Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew. Asleep on the perimeter were decent numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Pintail and Shelduck.

Water Rail near the feeding station.
On route to the Holden Tower a stop off at the feeding station had Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Blue Tit and Great Tit and offered some close views of a showy Water Rail, several Brown Rats were also taking advantage of the overflow. The tower produced good panoramic views and here good numbers of Teal and over 200 Barnacle Geese feeding on the wet meadow. A brace of Peregrine and a lone Mistle Thrush directly below kept Dee entertained with the camera.