Monday, 16 January 2012

The BIG boost

After a brief watch of my Garden feeders (Previous post) we headed down to slimbridge.
Upon Arrival, we headed to the Rushy Pen, as the Lesser scaup was seen here while we were driving down, however, it (and practically all the Ducks) had gone, There was only a few BEWICK SWAN'S and 100c PINTAIL here.
So then we headed up towards the Tack piece, where the majority of activity was, There was proberbly about 5000+ Birds on the flooded field, Thousands of Lapwing, Wigeon, Teal, But also the largest flock of GOLDEN PLOVER ive ever seen 1600+ Birds in a tight scrum. A pair of Buzzards often flew across the field and the sight of so many birds in the air at once was breathtaking!

With the ranks of Commoner birds, there was 800+ Dunlin Intermixed, 40c Redshank, 30c Black-Tailed Godwit, 200c Curlew (Including birds on Estury) and 8 RUFF, including some 'white' males.
We then headed up to the Holden tower, and viewed the Goose flock, 210 Eurasian WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were here, with hundreds of Shelduck, Greylag, Canada and Barnacle Geese, However the 'Gypo' Egyptian Geese seen the previous day were nowhere to be seen (still to see a Gypo Goose). an Adult Peregrine was out on the Mudflats.
I was going to scan the Long ground pool as i remembered last winter the lesser scaup spent alot of time on there, but the sun was bouncing off the waters surface and you couldnt see anything,
Anyway, i heard news the Bittern was showing from the Zeiss hide, so we headed over there. By the time we had got there, it had moved back into cover, and the next painfully cold 1 1/2 hours was Bitternless, 2500+ Lapwing, and loads of Teal and Wigeon were in the field to the left of the hide but otherwhys it was quite!
News then popped up that the Lesser Scaup had been refound, on the Long Ground Pool!!
So we gave up on the Bittern and headed over for the Scaup
A quick look in the small hide next to the 'In focus' Shop saw the PINTAIL's extremly close.

Once in the Holden tower, the sun was on the pool again, so i took a video of White-fronted Geese feeding on th dumbles.

Eventually, a small flock moved onto the small pool in front of the hide, giving great views.
The sun Died out, and in the brief spell i manadges to locate the 2nd winter female LESSER SCAUP asleap with Tufted and Pochards, It soon woke up however, and i saw the huge white base to its bill, I quickly got as many people onto the bird as i could before the sun came out again. When the sun came back out we realised we hadent been to the South lake, so we walked down there for a look, a few Dunlin, Redshank and a single Blackwit & Great crested Grebe. However, there was also an adult COMMON GULL will the BHG flock, and i speculated whether it was the adult bird i saw the last time i visited?!?!?
With the sun lower in the sky, we went up for another look at the LESSER SCAUP.
Via the Knott hide, where a Wigeon flcok was only a few metres from the hide! (video is 0x camera Zoom on a 27x Eyepiece)

We got back up the Holden tower, and were treated to OK views of the LESSER SCAUP as it swam around. However this time i spent much more time guiding people onto the bird, for people who didnt know where it was (or didnt know the stand out features of Lesesr Scaup) it took an awfully long time to get them onto it. But eventually everyone in the hide saw the bird, and was left happy about the bird that had crossed the Atlantic to winter for its 2nd winter at Slimbridge.
The bird was too far away to even bother trying to get a photo!
Interestingly, i saw 2 ringed birds, a BHG with the leg ring 2P33 and a White-fronted Goose with a neck ring (YUM). The BHG almost certainly came from Cotswald water park at is it very similar a number to one i had a Upton, and with it being the same colour aswell (White, Left leg), it looks likely.
120+ Bewick swan
210 White fronted Goose
200+ Pintail
3000+ Wigeon
2000+ Teal
1600 Golden plover
5000+ Lapwing!
8 Ruff
1 Common Gull
4 Ravern
All in all, a very good start to 2012!


Pam said...

Goodness me you had a busy day at Slimbridge, I was breathless just reading about you racing from one hide to another!
Glad you caught up with the Lesser Scaup eventually and saw so many Golden Plover, bet they were a treat to see! A great post of your day and species seen Craig.
Do you know if there is a big Starling Roost there this Winter?

midlands birder said...

It was quite a busy day skipping from one hide to another, i find it hard to just sit in one hide for hours, expesially with so many birds around! But it was a tiring day!
They were great birds!
The Starling roost hasnt started developing much (there is another one at Severn beach which could be taking their birds), there was just under 1000 birds roosting the day i went, just happens my dad parked the car next to the hawthorn clump they roosted in, the car was covered in Starling Poop when we got back just after they dropped into roost! :P

Pam said...

I am the same as far as sitting in a hide for any length of time Craig, especially so in the Winter! I prefer to walk and find the birds as opposed to waiting for them to drop in.
Thanks for the info on the Starlings. Still plenty of time for numbers to build up I guess.

Hope you didn't have to clean your Dads car when you arrived home!!

One Piece Fiberglass Pool said...
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