Monday 01 January – Slimbridge WWT. Leader Di Bunniss

21 members met in the car park of Slimbridge on a dry but overcast day, and the only leading was to the main entrance! Once through, the group always scatter as they head for the various hides. As usual some headed straight for the Holden Tower Hide which has great views over the fields towards the Severn estuary, while others made for the Rushy Hide which looks out over one of the lakes. No matter which starting point was chosen, we were together but in smaller groups and the more experienced were able to point out the birds that were less easy to spot. My ‘Bird of the Day ‘ was the Ruff with its startling white head. The other, a close second, was the Spotted Redshank, which was remarkably difficult to pick out from among the many Common Redshanks but, once identified, suddenly seemed so obviously different. Thanks to the very patient people with scopes who let me see the bird clearly. Most of the geese were spotted including Brent, Barnacle, Snow, Ross’s and White-fronted. A Marsh Harrier was disturbing the hundreds of Golden Plovers and Lapwings, which put on an impressive display as they flew up in huge flocks, circled and settled again. It would be impossible to list all the birds seen but a combination of two lists came to an impressive total of 71 species. (Thanks to Di for leading) Di Bunniss