Monday 01 January 2018 – WWT Slimbridge

Thanks to all the 27 members who turned up for this meeting – a very good showing, and a very good showing of birds too, with 64 species logged. About a half of these were noted on our way to (and from) and at the Holden Tower. It was quite a scrummage in the tower as people tried to see everything! Bewick Swans, White-fronted and Greylag Geese were all on show, as well as Canadas, Barnacles and a lone Red-breasted Goose (genuine?). All the expected duck species were seen – eight in all. But the waders were attracting most attention and in particular, two Little Stint which proved rather elusive for some of us, but ticked off by all eventually. The ten species seen, as well as the Stints, were Golden Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank and a couple of Avocets, although these were seen best from the Zeiss hide where there were more Snipe. The expected Peregrine was seen and a Buzzard or two watched from fence and hedge. Just as most of the party had left the Holden Tower a Hawfinch was seen there – perhaps the star bird of the morning. We were by now heading through the grounds ‘mopping up’ passerines as gulls (five species) sailed around. These included Redwing, Song and Mistle Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Goldcrest and Treecreeper, as well as the expected tits, crows and finches. A swimming Water Rail was spotted from the Kingfisher hide. The weather was mostly kind to us and it was a great morning’s birding. (Thanks to Robin for leading) Robin Prytherch