Saturday, January 16, 2016

Diary Entry #6

Dee and I had already planned to visit WWT Slimbridge today but as luck would have it a couple of Penduline Tits were still showing well at Horsbere Brook, a short diversion from our route.

One of two PENDULINE TITS at Horsbere Brook today!
We arrived mid morning and weren't surprised to find a large group already there. Once parked in the layby opposite the Premier Inn we were on site within minutes. In fact it only took around 20 minutes or so before the birds appeared, pretty close in as it happens and right in front of our position. Now if all twitches were like that I'd probably be hooked. Cracking little birds, so delicate and stunning and well worth the effort! A Stonechat was also a year 'tick' during our stay.

Another shot of the gorgeous PENDULINE TITS
On to WWT Slimbridge next a place Dee and I enjoy a couple of times a year, always nice to get close up to certain species you'll probably never see in the wild. The Hogarth Hide was well frozen but we did manage a Pink-footed Goose which was mixed in with some Graylag Geese.

Distant record shot of Common Crane today!
At The Zeiss Hide four Common Cranes flew in, soon joined by a fifth but once again the pools were frozen. A Buzzard perched on a distant tree but the majority of birds were well off towards the estuary. Most birds today could be found on the Rushy, Tack Piece and Dumbles with a good selection of waders including: various numbers of Redshank, Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, (500+) Dunlin and (15) Ruff, a single Little Stint was probably the highlight!

Another record shot - This time White-fronted Geese
On to the Holden Tower and two more Common Crane, plus a good flock of circa 150 Barnacle Geese, along with (5) White-fronted Geese and some large distant flocks of Canada and Greylag. Bewick's Swans numbered around 100 and at one stage a Peregrine caused a few issues.

Bewick's Swans - Always a pleasure to see!
Also of note during an enjoyable visit various numbers of: Pochard, Pintail, Shoveler, Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal and a single Water Rail.