1-29 February 2012 blog and sightings

29 February 2012 A hectic but mostly enjoyable day at WWT thanks to Kingfishers, singing Blackcap and lots of general Spring activity to put a bounce in the step.

28 February 2012 Some new birds have arrived at work, more Black-tailed Godwits and Ruff were present today. Only 85 E White-fronted Geese were left on the Dumbles with 100 deciding to head off to begin migration even though it was cloudy.

“Spectacled” Wigeon female Albanism again.

Redshank showing albanistic line on back of head.

Mandarin
A stunning duck, as a kid it drew me in immediately providing plain wonder at the intricate plumage. A small ‘influx’ of them to WWT Slimbridge this week. Not enough females around, this one has paired to a female Mallard and was showing aggression toward male Mallards.

Jack Snipe
This bird remained in the open so I managed a quick snap and better quality video here.. http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit-us/slimbridge/sightings/

19-24 February 2012 Departing birds from WWT Slimbridge has been a feature this week. I have been kept busy on various pre breeding season jobs which allowed a few sightings of quality birds. I guided some prize winners around the reserve seeing two Bitterns from the Zeiss Hide on Sunday, also Bittern views on Monday and Wednesday in the 100 Acre. One flew over us twice on Monday and a single landed on the reeds near us whilst working on tern/gull rafts on Wednesday. Trilling Little Grebe, barking Great Crested Grebe, lots of songbirds all suggested spring. Whilst mowing/topping juncus I noted at least 70 Common Snipe and 9 Jack Snipe. I have uploaded the trip report and some images from the Netherlands trip on 9-12 February 2012.

18 February 2012 My first Reed Bunting of the winter was in the garden, I spent a bit of time re-arranging House Sparrow nest boxes in the garden. They are already looking at them.

Geese leaving the IJseelmeer roost, Makkum, Netherlands

9-12 February 2012 A short goosetastic trip to the Netherlands via France and Belgium. A full trip report covering this trip will follow soon.

1-11 February 2012 A very busy period spent preparing for the Festival of Birds at WWT Slimbridge or helping out on it. Great to see so many people braving the harsh weather to support it and to see so many familiar faces. A cold and frozen period with a dash of snow.

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