One Hundred Reached at Slimbridge

Slimbridge today for what I always hope will be my one visit of the year.  For some reason I never really enjoy going there. No logical reason for feeling that way. Anyway after a pleasant cross country drive via Tetbury and Dursley I arrived at a little past eight. Entering through the members gate  I headed straight for the Holden tower and was the first person there. There were an amazing amount of birds on the Tack Piece. Waders, ducks, geese and Swans

along with five Cranes. Lapwings and Wigeon were the most numerous and the best were a good amount of Pintail. there were plenty of Canada and Greylag Geese and a large flock of Barnacle were seen in the distance. Unfortunately the ones I really wanted, the White-fronted were nowhere to be seen. I then headed for the South Finger hoping that they would be there. No joy here either but nice to see plenty of small birds including a couple of Goldcrests. From the Kingfisher Hide the main interest were the six or seven  rats that were on and around the feeders. IMG_7330 (1024x682)After a few minutes in the Zeiss Hide with no sign of Bittern I headed back to the Holden Tower to look for the Little Stint. More luck this time when I found it feeding out on its own. Then it was a check of the Rushey for the Whooper Swan but that wasn’t around either. I needed to be home by two so headed off at just gone eleven. I routed home via Stroud for a quick look for Dipper. Checked out two sites with no luck. Then it was a look-in at Lakes 305 and 306 at the Water Park. Just a few Mallard and a lone Tufted at 305 but 306 was better with a male Pintail and my first Green Sandpiper of the year. At Castle Eaton there was nothing on the full and fast Thames. However in the trees were a large flock, maybe three hundred Linnets. IMG_7331 (1024x681)In all nine year-ticks and a couple of misses so not a bad day. Back home the delivery I was expecting between two and nine arrived at five to nine so could have stayed out birding for longer.

2 responses to “One Hundred Reached at Slimbridge

  1. Hi Malcolm – always read your site – we used to live in Chiseldon until 2 years ago – now back in Gloucestershire. Agree with your comments about Slimbridge – my theory is that turning up and viewing gives no sense of “achievement” and, to be honest, it has elements of a business although I know they do good work. Thanks for your site – regards Mike and Sue Phelps

    • Hi Mike and Sue,
      Thanks for your kind words. Your no sense of achievement is spot on. Great birds there but you usually know in advance where they are and although they have to be found there is always someone around who can point you in the right direction. I agree that WWT do good work but I think it is time they spent a bit of money upgrading the main birdwatching hides. Most are very tired now. The site at Barnes shows what can be done.

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