Wednesday, 22 October 2014

21 October 2014: An afternoon at a very windy Slimbridge.

I spent the afternoon at Slimbridge as it was quite sunny in spite of the high winds. At least the hides would give some shelter although for several of them I knew it would be draughty once the windows were open. At the South Lake hide it was very quiet and the sun was for the most part against photography.
The Pochard were taking an early nap.
On then to the Zeiss hide to see if there was anything there. Nothing immediately in front of the hide and there was certainly no sign of the Bittern which had been sighted early morning. The distant lagoon was full of waders, mostly Black tailed Godwit and Redshank at first sight, as well as lots of Teal and Shoveler. Suddenly everything lifted and I was surprised to see on review that there is a solitary Avocet in the frame withthe Black Tailed Godwits.

Then the cause of the lifting appeared - a Marsh Harrier. 

I had seen Marsh Harrier from the Zeiss hide before, but always over the reed beds and marshland beyond the lagoons. This time the bird circled and slew across the lagoon, scattering evrything on its way.
This time Teal and Shoveler took to the air.
The Harrier continued to hut over the lagoon

and at times attracted an escort of assorted Corvids

Teal, Shoveler and Black Headed Gulls lifted off during this run.

Back amongst the Godwits
Eventually the Harriers disappeared and I continued my rounds of the reserve. From the Rushy hide there were excellent views of the Ruddy Duck, though it really wasn't putting on a display.
There was also a single Barnacle Goose which had teamed up with a bunch of Greylag rather than hang out with the rest of the Barnacles on the estuary.

From one of the other hids there was an influx of Teal.
There were also a pair of Common Crane, feeding and drinking.

but eventually they set off after one of the Trusts tractors entered the field.

On into the holden Tower to see what was happening on the Dumbles when a Woodpigeon flew across the Tack Pieec intpo the hedge below the hide.

Shortly afterwards this Sparrowhawk arrived and then proceeded to have a short preen before heading off on the hunt again.

A large flight of Curlew passed by but there was very little onthe Dumbles as the tide was well out - so I suspect most waders were at the water's edge. It was also exceedingly windy whenever you tried to open a window(-:).
Back down to the Rushy and found this Lesser Black Backed Gull posing nicely.
An some colourful Shelduck in the sunshice

A Grey Heron flew past
On the way back to the South lake for the last half hour I caught hgis very obliging Pied Wagtail
At South Lake Shoveler were cruising and feeding
and one of the Cormorants was fishing.

and ventually got out to dry off and flash!
Then a small group of  Gadwall arrived
and proceeded to have a bit of a bicker(-:).

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