Friday, 6 December 2019

Birthday treats

02-05 December
Somerset Levels, Slimbridge, Newton St Loe 
Cold but mostly blue
Species Highlights: 
Starling, Treecreeper, Kingfisher, Whooper swan, Slimbridge, Bittern, Water Rail, Stonechat.

Lauren at work so I headed down to Ham Wall to see what was around a very cold morning but beautiful blue skies, This blackbird was sunning himself near the visitors center.

 I walked to hides but seemed to be very little to snap at, so drove down to Greylake. In the car park as usual a few birds coming to the feeders. 

Reed bunting, female.


But the stars were the Starlings, squawking and scrapping over and around the feeders

Wren- Troglodytes Troglodytes

From the hides Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon numbers starting to build, on returning back to the van my Fit-bit fell off, didn't notice till much later. 
I left for Wells, Bishops place

At Wells this Treecreeper landed almost next to me, letting me have a few nice pictures.

The reason I went to Wells was to see the Kingfishers but although I saw 2 the light was disappearing and I'd now realised I'd lost my Fit-bit! 
That night I got home and posted a few pictures on Facebook, mentioning my lost Fit-bit, which I'd thought i'd never see again........

Tuesday and more blue skies a early patch walk, very quiet but this Mirror Carp at around 15 lbs was a great breakfast for this Robin, not so lucky for the Carp.

The Moorhen was also digging in.

I then had a Facebook message saying "I think I've found your Fit-bit" from a very nice chap called Kieran, whose gonna post it back to me, Whoohoo!

Back to the Walk and this Raven flew over Honking.

Along the back drive to University a small group of Meadow Pipit plus a pair of Stonechat (not pictured) unusal here.

Wednesday 4th December was my birthday 53, so after opening a few presents I set off to Slimbridge.
As a birthday treat the Bittern had arranged to give me a viewing from the Zeiss hide!

Saw 2 birds for a few minutes then they both disappeared into the reeds, as they do.

Such amazing camo, blending into the reeds, some people couldn't see them even though they were in plain sight!

The sun was shinning and the captive ponds looked fantastic.

 Goldeneye - Bucephala Clangula

Greater Scaup - Aythya Marila

Eider - Somateria Mollissima

Smew - Mergus Albellus

From the Willow hide a Water Rail had also decided to show for my Birthday.

From the other hides Wigeon, Lapwing and Curlew could be seen,

And Pintail, such a stunning duck

Not much flying past so dropped back to the captive ducks.

Redhead - Aythya americana

Greater Scaup female

Ring- Necked Duck - Aythya collaris

The Eider were mating and this the after shot, wouldn't want to evade their privacy.

Had to head home for my my birthday tea but dropped into the Rushy hide this Bewick taking a well earned drink after its long flight.

Thursday I met with Nigel Sluman at Church for a guided tour, not much going on but Nigel, Eagle eyed, spotted this female Tufted Duck, first for the year on top lake. 
Whooper still present in to its 44th day. 
Teal numbers at 16 and Little Grebe still present.

Walking along the back drive managed to get a picture of the Stonechat which I'd seen on Tuesday.

Showing well as they do. Leaving Nigel I carried on home.

This Kestrel was the last tick of the day, and the week.

Still no change but next week hope to add a few to Lauren's list.

Wayne Year Bird List: 205
Lauren Year Bird List: 195

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Friday, 29 November 2019

Slimbridge to Newton St Loe

25th-28th November
Slimbridge, Barrow Tanks, Eastville Park, Newton St Loe
Weather: Rain to Blue Skies
Species Highlights: 
Whooper Swan, Bewick Swan, Long-Tailed Duck, Great Northern, Diver, Goosander, Kingfisher.
Our week started with a trip to slimbridge, mostly grey skies, low shutter and high ISO, but was a good day, the first few from the Willow Hide.

Next off a few Bewick Swan always good to see them return.

Pintail drake looking fabulous as always.

A Tufted duck incoming not to miss out from the action.

The view across the  Severn into the Forest of Dean, a bit overcast you could say.

Pheasant such a beauty cleaning up under the Feeders.

Flocks starting to build with Golden Plover, Dunlin and Lapwing taking to the air, the culprit.....

Peregrine Falcon.

It was raining all morning but with nothing to do and the chance it may clear up I headed to Chew, couldn't see the Green winged Teal through the gloom so went to Barrow tanks and the rain stopped! 
 The Long Tailed duck was cruising past in tip top condition.

Walked around scanning for the two Divers black Throated and Great Northern but could only find the later. Unfortunately he had fishing line attached to his bill and I watched him struggling to remove it, fisherman continued to cast and catch Trout unaware.

1/2 hour from Eastville Park and Mr. Chard a quick message and I met him at the park, that morning a female Goosander had arrived and we took a few pictures.

Just the one flypast over Newton St Loe this year, 2 years ago we had 21 Goosander on top lake!

Eastville park is a great place with resident Dipper, Kingfisher, with a constant stream of walkers, dog walkers and kids, but this means most of the wildlife lets you get that bit closer.

This Grey Heron stalking just feet away from us.

The light almost gone, he looks like a old man in a trench coat! 
But the feather detail look great.

Patch walk day and I awoke to clear blue skies, with high hopes I started my walk out through Bath Mill, It all seems silent...not until I was on top fields did I see anything, Skylark and Meadow Pipit feeding in stubble. Into village, seeing a few things but not many photos.
Distant Buzzard calling over bottom lake.

Top Lake and the Whooper still present with Common Gull keeping him company, the Mute Swans down the other end of lake today.

36 days and counting.

Little Grebe and 10 Teal present and 3 Common gull, one of my favorite gulls.

Walked along back drive to University and and a group of Meadow Pipit on wires along with a male and female Stonechat, first time seeing them here. Ended walk on 45 species so a good day. Nothing to add to our 200 counts.

Wayne Year Bird List: 205
Lauren Year Bird List: 195

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