Some bird highlights of the 2011 autumn, most are taken at WWT Slimbridge but one or two exceptions are my rare birding moments away from the Trust. I have hardly got out birding from October to late December due to working on the house but here are my favourite bits, at least the ones I managed to capture on memory card.
Semipalmated Sandpiper and Dunlin
Often quiet from July-September. Much easier to locate in October and November when they begin calling again.
Pallid Harrier, Black Down, Somerset
Made a last minute decision and dash for this bird when I got the spare time. Also saw the Spotted Sandpiper at Chew Valley Lake.
This male was briefly on South Lake but soon flew off South, I saw another, a female on the Severn in November. They have been rather scarce in recent years.
One of the best local finds of the autumn. This bird was at Thornbury Sailing Club
Ruddy Shelducks over the Top New Piece
Always worth studying the late Oct to February Chiffs, this may be an example of abietinus
Brent Geese on the Dumbles
Great Crested Grebe South Lake
It is great to have this bird back in front of the Zeiss Hide at WWT, even better that two are showing daily from November to the end of the year.
Lesser Scaup female
This bird arrived last winter in late December 2010 appearing in front of me when just about to feed the Rushy, this time in December 2011 I spotted it without binoculars to hand as it was getting dark in almost the same place.
Ferruginous Duck x Pochard
I always find these wild hybridisations of interest, the fourth I have seen at WWT over the years. It flew in to the Tack Piece on 29 December.