Monday, 22 August 2016

Black Tern + Kingfisher @ Slimbridge

Date: 22nd August 2016 
Location: WWT Slimbridge
Weather: Cloudy + Windy
Other Species: Cormorant, Redshank, House Martin, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Black-Tailed Godwit, Black Tern, Common Crane, Ruff, Pied Wagtail, Spotted Redshank, Teal, Dunlin, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Wigeon, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Greenfinch, Long-Tailed Tit, Kingfisher, Little Egret, Barnacle Goose, Shoveler
51 Species Total

Observation: After some stormy weather and some good sightings from WWT Slimbridge, another visit was in order! We headed straight for South Lake on arrival in the hope of the Black Tern. After a few minutes in it flew, giving us some great views!

A single Common Crane was present to the right of South Lake, along with 2 Spotted Redshank and a very brief visit from a group of 19 Dunlin and a single Curlew Sandpiper! They settled in the far corner on the mud but were spooked by a flock of Greylag Geese arriving.

The Curlew Sandpiper has a mottled red stomach which indicated summer plumage.

A few more shots of the Black Tern who seemed to have been inspired by the Olympics practising it's balancing skills in front the hide before it flew off towards Hogarth Hide.

Next up was Rushy Hide, they were undertaking some work here so pretty quiet, the best from this hide was 2 Snipe, Green Sandpiper and Sand Martin.

We changed it up a bit and visited Holden Tower first as it was high tide, no pictures from here but a fly-past Greater Black-Backed Gull and some feeding Rook and Wigeon and lastly a hunting Kestrel who made a few unsuccessful dives but later landed on the stone hut to shelter from the gusty wind!

Robbie Garnet Hide gave us nice low-levels views of some very muddy Black-Tailed Godwit's and a single Common Sandpiper.

A quick scan in the Willow Hide plenty of young Blue Tit's and Great Tit's and a windswept Chaffinch.

Martin Smith Hide didn't disappoint this visit! A Male Kingfisher was putting on a great display on the perches in front of the Hide. Good work WWT!

After showing off in front of the camera's having some wing stretches, it was back to business. After a change of the perch, it was back catching fish!

Slightly tangled with the extra grass attached to the fish, he untangles it but drops the fish and looks slightly confused!

With not many photo opportunities from the other hides we headed back to South Lake for more unfocused shots of the Black Tern. We did manage a few in focus so here they are:

After some slightly improved images under our belt, we had a last scan in the Rushy just as we left a stunning Sparrowhawk caught our eye.

We had to visit Martin Smith Hide before we headed home. After about 5 minutes the Male Kingfisher returned, initially staying out the back, but did return to it's perches. A few more shots and we left him to it!

Another successful day at Slimbridge and great to see the continued hard work from WWT and Slimbridge is still paying off!

Thanks For Looking !

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