25-26 November 2012 Extremely enjoyable birding on WWT Slimbridge’s Tack Piece. The floods have created ideal conditions for waders and wildfowl and other species too. A cracking flock of 403 Black-tailed Godwit were present including a colour ringed bird that was marked at Seaton LNR, Axe Estuary in February 2012, seen around the Exe Estuary on 25/26 April 2012 before noting it locally.
23 November 2012 A visit to Gloucester to recycle and visit the bank allowed a Waxwing-less tour through town on the way home.
A fine sunny morning in Whitminster tempted me to hang about for twenty minutes and watch the Pied and Grey Wagtails at Fromebridge.
The Fromebridge Mill floods. This sheet of water stretches from the A38 to Saul and may become a wildfowl magnet over the next few weeks. The pub here is currently shut offering a new meaning for watering hole!
E White-fronted Geese
A really slow start for this species this winter. The flock increased to 27 by 26th.
At least 2000 are present on the New Grounds
Large numbers have passed through this month. Often frustrating as they are shy, it is always welcome when you get a good view. Flocks have stripped the berries leaving a few for local or straggling birds to clean up what is left. Perhaps we will see another garden invasion if it snows this winter.
The Golden Plover flock has been building around the New Grounds and reached 1000 birds. Two or possibly three of the flock are retaining partial breeding plumage unless they are moulting early.
‘GoPlo or ‘Geeps’. Can’t help using nicknames.
Long-billed Dowitcher with Black-tailed Godwits
6 November 2012 The day started with a little visible migration, after a NE breeze and a frost overnight it changed to a SW with low cloud and light drizzle. As this weather pushed in I found myself getting a bunch of tools together with two of our guys at WWT Slimbridge. I heard a faint pipit call which made me perk up immediately. I looked in the direction of the call but had a hedge in the way at the Top Hut. It flew in from the NE (it may have been on the ground in the boggy field/withy bed area and simply taken off from the Gosling field after calling first) and I managed to ‘get on it’ as it called again much closer and I could see it through the hedge coming my way. As far as sighting detail is concerned it was a silouhette and the same size as a Meadow Pipit. It called again as it went over and continued South down the lane and over the centre. A longer and more drawn out single but not particularly loud call sounding like Ppeeace or Ppeeez. I made a call on the radio to tip off those staff in the centre to get outside as a Red-throated Pipit was on the way over but it was over the centre by the time I got a reply. Meadow Pipits are flying around the site daily and a variety of calls are heard, I have heard Rock and Water Pipit on site also in recent days. Two Waxwing were seen in the car park on the same morning.
5 November 2012 A hide round at WWT Slimbridge included the usual search through the Top New Piece Teal flock. As on a number of occasions before it once again produced a male Green winged Teal. It did wake up and show itself better before going back to sleep again.
4 November 2012 By employing a little fieldcraft I have to say I really enjoyed a close encounter with two Roe Deer. This wary animal was onto me but was not quite sure.
3 November 2012 A morning and early afternoon out in the Forest of Dean. Trip report soon.
1 November 2012
Little Egret on the WWT Slimbridge, Tack Piece.
This bird has claimed this part of the reserve for it’s feeding territory.
Part of the Black-tailed Godwit flock and play….spot the Long-billed Dowitcher