Monday, 5 October 2009


these are the words i read just after typing in my sightings on you want to know what that national rarety is,well you'll just have to read on and see...............


had an early night the day before so i could watch the F1 quallys and im so glad i did,some nice crashes and loads of red flags,when it was light enough to see i had a quick look at the lickhill fields and one of them held 158 canadian geese.thats it... what you expect more its lickhill for crying out loud.well back in the garden i found a greenfinch,and i am sad to say a dying greenfinch,it had a mite/tick on its head and was very poorly and within an hour it had died.i took a few photos before it had died but dont think its appropriate to put them on here.

on a lighter mood the birding picked up on out way to slimbridge wwt when(somewhere along the motorway) i had a MERLIN fly over,a was a juv/female bird zooming across the motorway,but what a way to start the day.not to single the merlin out but we also had a hobby over somewhere too but i didnt know where so i didnt pass the news on.

arriving at slimbridge at 11:20 am,there was an air of expectation,well a bloody strong wind anyway,got out the car and the door nearly flew into the estury.after enquiring about the land rover safari,i found out it had been cancled so we had to do everything by out own steam,after looking(and photographing) plastic stuff i retreated to the non-plastic world of the south lake, even the wild bird had been tought well,with 4 female pintail just infront of the hide giving great photo op's.and yes they are wild,look a full set of wings:

over to the left of the hide there was a flock of godwits,wait those 3 on the end look a bit small nd through my scope they were clearly bar-tailed godwits(lifer 193),other than these there was little to mention but:

9 pintail

8 pochard

28 b t godwit

3 barwit.

stopped at the plastic stuff and 'had to' hand feed red-breasted goose,and i will tell you one of my highlights of the trip that was,but can i ask,waht is red-breasted goose doing in the australia area????

next stop zeiss hide,the most activity from here,way more barnacle geese than last time,now 146 of them,and with 5 greylags and 100c canadians there was a lot of goose activity

,went straight in to 'find' those spotted redshanks in there and after a bit of searching,there we go all 3 in one scopefull(lifer 194) and sharing this scopeful was a ruff and my next lifer of the day a knot(lifer 195),yet another blackwit was out there too and i quickly located the 4 golden plover in the lapwing flock,a pintail was scirting the 500 or so teal(make it sound like thats so common),2 snipe zig-zagged over and 5 ravern were on the dumbles,a water rail briefly squeaked from the reedbed in front of the hide:

highlights here are:

146 barnicle geese

3 spotted redshank

1 knot

1 blackwit

3 ruff

1 water rail

4 golden plover

1 pintail

30c redshank

5 greylag geese

2 snipe

500c teal(probs more)

a few wigeon

yet more plastic stuff was photographed on my way over to the holden tower

but when getting to the tower we decided it might be a good idea if we walked out to middle point.well appart from a close but brief little egret about 40 shelduck and about 50 curlew there was little else to note,well untill i found 2 knot resting on some rock further downstream,with the tide this far out what were they doing,just resting maybe and i was happy to see a curlew feeding on a beech on the opposite shore.i was watching a curlew from england in wales,how cool is that.

a check in the holden tower produced another little egret,20c curlew,100c lapwing and 27 OYC,a knot flew across the dumbles upriver,maybe joinging the 2 up by middle point,a 100c strong flock of dunlin was way out on the mudflats and a meadow pipit was on the dumbles,that concludes my visit to slimbridge,or does it?

after earlier getting directions off a warden on how to view the 100 acre fields i was told some directions,we ended up on ryalls lane and my dad stopped near a bridge there,he though there wasent any parking spaces/area on the opposite side of the bridge so i grabbed my bin and went over and checked,but while crossing the bridge i saw white objects in a field further along the track,i ran back to the car,grabbed my scope and said i would phone my dad if you could park over there,nearing the field i could see there was plenty of space to park,and as i neared my subject it became more obvious this is what i had come to see,i reached a gap in the hedge and saw my target:


the egrets(lifer 196)were hunting insects and showingwell around the cows feet and in the tussocks but i found the wind horid,the birds were close(about 40 ft away) but i couldent keep my scope/camera till in the 40mph gusts.this is now the rarest thing i have seen.1 catle egret on its own is rare but a flock of 4,a truily amazing spectacle,a species ment to be in spain and southern france(before the recent events) in windy,rainy be honest i couldent see much better habitat for them,the area was spot on, the jizz was kinda like a litle egret but just a 'dryer' version being in fields rather than in water.a very charismatic species and a welcomed bird.and just to top it off,it was just me,my dad and the egrets,how much better can it get than that??

all 4 birds in this vid

highlight of trip were:

4 cattle egret

2 little egret

146 barnacle goose

40c shelduck

10 pintail

10 wigeon

1000c teal

8 pochard

27 OYC

4 golden plover

4 knot

100c dunlin

30c redshank

3 spotted redshank

29 blackwit

3 barwit

50c curlew

2 snipe

3 ruff

1 common gull

4 mipit

on way down

1 hobby

1 merlin

a really great day and now so close to that 200 milestone



JRandSue said...

Fantastic images,very enjoyable visit.

midlands birder said...

yes it was a very good/productive visit,just a shame about that wind.well done with your spoonbill,now there's good pics

Angie said...

Great post.

midlands birder said...

thanks angie,it was a good day