Trip Report: WWT Slimbridge (1 January 2013)

At least 26 members appeared in the car park (several others arrived later!) After the horrid weather of previous days, it was a joy to arrive in bright sunshine. A perfect morning, added to which it was just after high tide, so the Dumbles and Tack Piece were full of birds, dominated by large flocks of Lapwing, Golden Plover, Dunlin and Wigeon. It was just a case of scanning through these to find the less numerous species. The Bewick’s Swans were easy and useful pointers to where the Ruff, Pintail, Shoveler and others were. There was a neat flock of Redshanks including one Spotted Redshank and a nice line of Black-tailed Godwits. Pochard, Tufted Duck, Shelduck and Mallard were also noted. A small flock of White-fronted Geese was settled into the far side of the Tack Piece whilst out on the Dumbles, Canada and Barnacle Geese were showing, as well as Buzzards and two Peregrines. It was not long before the latter were off and put most of the waders to flight. It was spectacular!

On our walk around the various hides many song birds were noted as well as Water Rail and Mandarin (full-winged birds). I ought to mention a few others: Redwing, Blackbird, Treecreeper, Lesser Redpoll and Chaffinch, also Grey Heron and Curlew. (Sadly we missed the Bittern, again.) I’ve just mentioned some of the, at least, 54 species seen during a splendid morning’s walk in fine weather.

Robin Prytherch