Friday, 3 January 2014

WWT Slimbridge - 28 Year Ticks and a Lifer

The weather forecast for Thursday was the best of the week, so I decided to head out, with my nephew, birding and "year-ticking" at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust's reserve of Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. In the end, I managed a very respectable 43 species, which, as the title suggests, included 28 "year ticks" and a "lifer"!

First up the lifer- a Green-winged Teal. This north American species has become an annual visitor to Britain, but, despite a few attempts to see, them I've never managed to catch up with one - until now! After a few hours of searching through the 2000+ Eurasian Teals, the bird, a male, was eventually found fast asleep in front of Martin Smith hide, where I managed to get a photo. Note the vertical white line. This is horizontal in the Eurasian Teal seen behind.

Green-winged and Eurasian Teal
Now to the Year List update. At this time of year it's quite easy to add birds to this list, with certain birds such as Collared Dove and Mistle Thrush being relatively easy to find. Others are more difficult to see, so I was very pleased to find, amongst others, wild Bewick Swans and European White-fronted Geese feeding on and around the reserve. Other highlights for me were Common Cranes (3), thousands of Golden Plover and Lapwings and a very obliging Water Rail and Snipe.
Year List update:

36 – Collared Dove
37 – Curlew
38 – Dunlin
39 – Black-tailed Godwit
40 – Golden Plover
41 – Redshank
42 – Lapwing
43 – Ruff
44 – Avocet
45 – Bewick Swan
46 – European White-fronted Goose
47 – Barnacle Goose (F)
48 – Greylag Goose
49 – Pintail
50 – Pochard
51 – Wigeon
52 – Teal
53 – Shelduck
54 –Shoveler
55 - Gadwall
56 – Green-winged Teal
57 – Mistle Thrush
58 – Fieldfare
59 – Pied Wagtail
60 – Skylark
61 – Linnet
62 – Common Buzzard
63 – Common Crane
64 – Herring Gull

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