An early start today saw us going to Slimbridge for the Birdwatch morning with the wardens Martin and James to get the year list off to a good start. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great for photos but managed to get one or two nice ones, and we had some great sightings.
My bogey bird has definitely been put to bed now, we had amazing views of the Bittern again. It was stood right on the edge of the reeds, and then came out right in front of the hide.
Even on the edge of the reeds they are really well camouflaged
Moving can help get a better view
It started wobbling, I think it was going to the loo
Suddenly it rushed out into the open. It could only have been about 15 foot away – incredible views. As it came out, a volley of cameras went off, it sounded like a barrage of AK47s, very funny! Cue raucous laughter, luckily the Bittern didn’t seem concerned by the shutter noise.
Then it went back into the reeds and melted away
We finally found the Lesser Scaup on the pool by the Robbie Garnett Hide. It was closer than the one we saw last year, but all it did was sleep!
Waders were everywhere with Lapwing, Curlew, Dunlin, Golden Plover, Ruff and more ducks and geese than you could shake a stick at – Wigeon, Pochard, Pintail, Tufties, Teal, Gadwall, White Fronted Geese, Continental Greylags and of course Bewicks.
Dunlin and Lapwing
A nice juvenile Common Gull
Also we saw a wild Mandarin. This bird has paired with a captive female that forms part of the Slimbridge Collection
Also had great views of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Peregrine.
All in all a great start to the year and we totted up 65 species.