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This is the new home for my online Blog, I'll update and add to it from time to time with posts of interest to me, and hopefully that will interest you also!
This is yet another learning curve to me, so hopefully there will be various improvements as I go along in areas of layout, variety of content, narrative and hopefully photographic imagery - Please revisit and comment as often as you like :)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Slimbridge 11/03/2012

11th March saw me head off down to the WWT at Slimbridge to meet up with the birding group I'm a member of. There followed good banter within the group and a great days birding enjoyed by all, though many of the birds were out of my current lens's range.
 The weather throughout the day was excellent, early spring sunshine encouraging this first Comma Butterfly of the year to sunbathe. The first baby rabbits were also seen on one of the cleared grass-ways through the reed beds.
  But birds were what I'd travelled all the way to Slimbridge to see... So we took the hints and followed the signs.
Our first spot inside the reserve was this Woodpigeon making the most of the brilliant sun, whilst posing on an ivy clad fence.
 Wandering around the many hides and viewing screens, we managed to catch a good look at a Water Rail, busy raiding a very large fat-block before scurrying back into the reed-beds, only to re-emerge a few minutes later.
 It was good to see this Greenfinch making the most of the human-supplied seed as they have largely disappeared from the area around me.
But water birds are what Slimbridge is famous for, and we were not disappointed, this male Pochard looking resplendent in black, grey and maroon.

 There were many Shelduck around and clearly those first spring rays were turning their minds to 'other things' as there was much displaying and posturing going on -
 This worked well, as it enabled me to get a few shots of this striking drake.
 Even the frequently overlooked Moorhens were shaping up nicely for breeding
 Greylags were already paired up and patrolling their chosen patches
 Stopping to take a closeup 'gander' at the nosey person with the camera - they are quite intimidating from only a metre or so away!

I'm not quite sure what this Rook was trying to prove by balancing on a feeder, but he didn't seem to be having much success eating the contents - maybe it was just Spring high jinx or  'Joie de vivre'!
It was a strange time of year to be visiting neither Winter nor Summer, but somewhere in the no-mans-land in between. This was one of the last of the winter flock of Bewick's Swans still here, sadly a poor shot having been taken through non too clean double glazing! These had crossed over with four early arriving Avocets - sadly only visible in the far distance with the more powerful scopes.

Our day-list consisted of 49 species, with the Water Rail winning the 'bird of the Day' award from those present

Slimbridge was somewhere I'd not visited before, but definately one I'll be visiting again!


1 comment:

  1. Yep. I see what I have been doing wrong, not looking on the right hand side and clicking each date/event.
    Simples. XXX


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