Friday 20 February 2015

Some Surprise Slimbridge Sightings

 Feb 17 2015 Slimbridge Gloucestershire UK Sunny 6c

This was my fourth visit to Slimbridge and my first winter birding session. My other visits fell during the summer doldrums. I knew this time I would find some species that had been hard to find on previous trips. I was in for a few surprises.
The first two are for my beleaguered birder friends in Vancouver BC who are mucking around the swage ponds at Iona in search of a single Tufted Duck. The second a Lesser Black-backed Gull which has been twitched in Abbotsford and are common here.
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
I couldn't find the Lesser black-backed Gull in Abbotsford so I cheated and flew to the UK to find this one.
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)
Due to my busy schedule i'll save you the bother of having to decipher my ramblings by just posting some of the highlights from my day at Slimbridge.
 Bewick's Swans, Lapwing and Shelducks in the foreground swim freely at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire.

Some Corvids
Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
The smallest member of the crow family. Found from Scandinavia to Spain

Jackdaws pair for life.

Rook (Corvus frugilegus)
Note the fearsome beak. Found across Europe.
Adult winter Black-headed Gull (Chroicephalus ridibundus)
The head turns black in the summer.

European Herring Gull ( Larus argentatus)
Tundra or Bewick's Swan (Cygnus columbines)

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Lapwing in flight.
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
What is this bird doing?

Common Redshank

Dunlin with Lapwing in the foreground. There were also a flock 600 Golden Plover.

Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

Water Rail  (Rallus aquaticus)
What a cool Latin name!
Greater White Fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)

Common Crane (Grus Grus)

                                                     More about the Common Crane

                                                           More about Slimbridge

It was a fantastic day with sightings of Kingfisher, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, hundreds of Golden Plover and numerous other species some of which I have included above. I hope you have enjoyed this visit to one of Gloucestershire's premier birding hotspots.

Here are some of the sightings at Slimbridge during the week.

Not bad Eh!

"It's never to late to start birding"

John Gordon


  1. John these are gorgeous! funny how we go chasing after these same birds that are common to you over there! beautiful shots and hope you are well

  2. So many birds have different names for the same species. I have had an amazing response on Twitter with a few corrections being suggested especially the Common Redpoll from Newport which is actually the Lesser Redpoll.