Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Farmoor Reservoir & Slimbridge

Date: 01/05/2017
Location: Farmoor & Slimbridge
Weather: Cloudy some blue turning grey & thundery
Species Highlights:
Black Terns, Red Kite, Cuckoo, Dunlin, Common Terns, Spoonbill. 

Observation: 
Lauren had day off so thought we'd head up to Farmoor Reservoir nr. Oxford to see if we could catch up with the Bonaparte's gull that had been there off and on.
On arriving first spot was a large group of Black Terns way out in the middle on the res. 



But giving good views through binoculars, just worked out distance from shore to middle is roughly 1/3 of a mile ! Still managed id'able shots just.
Also lots of Great Crested Grebes feeding on Perch.



Walked around reservoir checking out gulls and watching the brilliant Common Terns of which there were around 20+.



Constantly calling and squawking!



Couldn't find the Bonapartes but a Kestrel perched up nicely for a few pictures.



A few Dunlin looked stunning wandering around the water's edge.



Counted around 10 birds in all.


Walked on down to Pinkhill Meadow hide and a Water Rail was feeding under the feeder.


While mentioning to some other birders about 2 Cuckoos yesterday one flew across then sat hidden in trees calling ! Nice first one of the year for both of us ! No picture worth posting for that one.

Carried on around the reservoir when a Red Kite flew towards us giving great views.



My highlight of the day, gotta love them, especially as we don't see them enough down in the west country although they are getting a bit more frequent.




A few more shots of the Terns and a heavy downpour of rain and we decided to head down to Slimbridge on way home.
Slimbridge seems to be our second patch. Spoonbill was are first target and report said Van de Bovenkamp hide so quickly headed that way.....nothing.....Zeis.....nothing....So dropped into South lake hide and a single Black Tern Was present.



Giving us much closer views than Farmoor.


But extremely hard as it's such a quick bird ducking and diving !


After taking a lot of pictures or trying to take pictures we headed round to Robbie Garnett hide as a helpful tweet said "Spoonbill!" Sure enough the juvenile was there feeding.




Such a great bird with its side to side feeding technique it seemed very successful catching a fish it seemed on every swipe.




After many more pictured the heavens opened and the thunder rumbled! 
But the Spoonbill just carried on feeding. 




Time was now 5pm so a quick return to the South hide a few more worse shots of the Black Tern.



A Canada Gosling and end.



A excellent day with some stunning birds.


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