Wednesday 01 January – Slimbridge

 As the rain poured down on my arrival I wondered whether there would be anyone else there. I shouldn’t have doubted. BOC members are made of tough stuff! Nine appeared, well kitted out for the weather and we were soon in the shelter of the hides. The Tack Piece and Dumbles were full of water and birds. As usual, it was where to look. Wigeon, Teal, Lapwing, Curlew, Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Pintail, Bewick’s Swan, Canada Goose, Dunlin, Redshank, Ruff… it goes on. Because of the near continuous rain it was a challenge to sort out the smaller birds, like Little Stint and Skylark, even a distant Mistle Thrush, unless they were very close. Then we got wind of the Green -winged Teal and soon found it, after a dash through the rain, at the Zeiss hide, right in front of us. There were more birds there (mostly Teal) but searching did not produce one bird of prey, but a Grey Heron showed us its head and shoulders. At the Kingfisher Hide the feeders were busy with Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Great and Blue and Long-tailed Tits. The star there was a Great Spotted Woodpecker. At the South Lake Great Crested Grebe and Cormorant were noted. With gulls and other species not mentioned we noted a total of 52, which was not too bad for such a rotten day. So it was a Happy New Year.