Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 28 February 2007 and Azure Tit trip advert

28 February 2007 The Great Skua, Glaucous Gull, 9 Raven, 1 Little Stint and Spotted Redshank were still viewable from the HoldenTower. 14 Golden Plover, 50 Lapwing, 7 Black-tailed Godwit and a Shag was seen on the high tide at 5.00pm.

Sorry for posting this here but I have no other outlet at present.
Anser Birding Finland weekend: Azure Tit special

A last minute offer for a weekend visit to attempt to see one of Europe’s most enigmatic birds and search out other sought after Northern/continental birds such as Hawk and Great Grey Owl, Siberian Jay, White-backed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker and the amazing Azure Tit.

News for 28 February from Finland as follows….The Azure Tit has still been seen today. Other interesting species that should be possible (or almost certain) in the Tampere area are, as I told previously, Siberian Jay, Grey-headed Woodpecker and Three-toed Woodpecker. Now we also have a White-backed Woodpecker. And other species that could be seen are Black Woodpecker, Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Hazel Grouse, Willow Grouse, White-tailed Eagle, Pygmy Owl and perhaps Arctic Redpoll. I cannot guarantee all of these, but most of the abovementioned species should be fairly easily twitchable in the Tampere area. And if you want to see Hawk Owl and Great Grey Owl, that should be possible in the Helsinki area. But it takes some time to drive there, of course.

So if you fancy a busy couple of days in the snow with some great birds, get in touch.

Price: For a one night stay £220.00 plus flight
For a two night stay £240.00 plus flight

This includes a free return lift to Stansted from Whitminster, transport in Finland, hotel room and a Finnish guide. Note: This does not include flight, lunch or evening meals or insurance. Also see the terms and conditions on the website or brochure We cannot guarantee that the birds will stay until our visit, this is very much a gamble but the birds have been wintering and the tit has been coming to feeders.

Flight prices are held until midnight on 1 March and are currently £40.00 return with ryanair. If you are interested we need to move quickly.

Possible dates: 6-7 March, 9-10 March or 9-11 March.

Please ring on 01452 741591 or e-mail asap.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 27 February 2007

27 February 2007 The first winter Glaucous Gull was on the Dumbles, the Temminck's Stint was reported this morning. Spotted Redshank and 11 Ruff remain but most of the wader flocks have departed, I only saw 80 Lapwing today. 117+ Bewick's Swans also remain.

26 February 2007 The Temminck's Stint was in front of the Holden Tower. 70 Golden Plover were still present plus Pink-footed and Tundra Bean Goose along with 300 E.White-fronted Geese. 125 Bewick's Swans remain.

Two trip offers are on the News page including a day trip to Cornwall on 3 March and a visit to Finland for the Azure Tit the following week.

Also the Bulgaria trip report is on the the Trip reports section.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 25 February 2007

The third winter Yellow-legged Gull from the Holden Tower. It is reminiscent of Caspian and does show pinkish legs in some lights but also yellowish, especially in the afternoon light. It has a darkish eye, a dark mantle and sloping forehead not rounded with a long bill. It is also thick necked and has an attenuated look, not pot-bellied.
The Temminck's Stint with a Little Stint.
Male Gadwall on the Top New Piece. What a great bird when you get a decent view.

Todays many bird sightings included at least the Temminck's Stint, 2 adult Dark-bellied Brent with the European White-fronted Geese, 8 Barnacle Geese, 1 Tundra Bean Goose, 3 Kingfishers, a pair of Greater Scaup, 1 Spotted Redshank, 5+ Little Stint, 23 Redshank and 5+ Ruff.

The WWT Slimbridge Kingfishers are back on the breeding site

At least three Kingfishers were at the South Finger area this morning. The male was digging out a nest hole and two females were involved in territorial disputes. They were making various calls, posturing and chasing each other about. The male can be seen with mud on the bill.
The male with mud pellets on the bill tip.

One of the females posturing. If they lay eggs it should provide more opportunities for images over the spring. They can be viewed from the De'ath and Loke hides. WWT Slimbridge are looking for sponsorship to fund the building of a new hide here.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 22 February 2007

Temminck's Stint at WWT Slimbridge, honest it is! Not saying who took this image as it is so bad. This unseasonal bird has resurfaced after being first seen by James Lees in January.
Again the bird is in the centre. It has not shown all day so you may have a long wait and some serious searching to locate it.
A third year Yellow-legged Gull was also present this afternoon.

The Great Skua was on the estuary and birding in general was very good. At least five Little Stint were also seen along with numbers of Ruff and 500 Dunlin. At the afternoon wild bird feed a Sand Martin flew over JSL, as far as we know this is the first recorded in Britain this year.

Monday, February 19, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 18 and 19 February 2007

The pair of Greater Scaup on South Lake with female Tufted Duck. All images M.J.McGill.
Chiloe Wigeon on the Top New Piece. This escaped S. American bird (not of WWT origin) has been present since last autumn and is regularly seen below the Zeiss Hide. Is this the bird that is responsible for so many reports of American Wigeon this winter at WWT and at Dowdeswell Reservoir?
Tundra Bean Goose from the Holden Tower. The geese showed very well this afternoon.

Female Greater Scaup on the South Lake above and female Tufted Duck below.

19 February 2007 Birds that were noted today included 1 Tundra Bean Goose, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Great Skua, 7 Little Grebe, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 289 Mute Swan, 200 Bewick's Swan, 406 Greylag, 103 Barnacle Goose, 126 Canada, 3 Mandarin, 372 Shelduck, 2913 Wigeon, 133 Gadwall, 1172 Teal, 998 Mallard, 725 Pintail, 232 Shoveler, 579 Pochard, 483 Tufted Duck, 2 Greater Scaup, 384 Moorhen, 452 Coot, 10 Oystercatcher, 1800 Golden Plover, 5930 Lapwing, 33 Ruff, 1 Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 335 Curlew, 18 Redshank and 2 Spotted Redshank.

18 February 2007 440 E. White-fronted Geese, adult Yellow-legged Gull and 5+ Little Stint were highlights as well as the above species.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 14-15 February 2007

15 February 2007 The pair of adult Greater Scaup were on the Top New Piece, the Great Skua still on the estuary and a report of a Common Scoter and Glaucous Gull from the Holden Tower.

14 February 2007 The Great Skua was still present on the estuary.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 10-12 February 2007

Eurasian Wigeon with abberant facial markings on the Tack Piece 12 February 2007

10-12 February 2007 The Bird Festival Weekend was well attended despite the over the top weather forecasts, thanks to all that visited the event. I hope you said hello to Jeremy Squire on the Anser Birding stand and had a look at the website. The birds had returned to the reserve after the cold spell, 5 Snipe, 5+ Little Stint, 3 Spotted Redshank, 28 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Redshank, 1 Knot, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 first-winter Tundra Bean Goose, 1 first-winter Pink-footed Goose and 470 E.White-fronted Geese remained to 11th at least. I only found 336 of the latter on 12th so some may have departed. 201 Bewick's Swans are still on site. The wildfowl and wader flocks are once again spectacular. Water Rail has been showing from Zeiss and the Loke hides with Cetti's Warbler at the former and Kingfisher back on territory (some nest site improvements were made yesterday).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 10 February 2007

10 February 2007 Sorry not to have updated recently but the Anser trips to France and Bulgaria have distracted me. See the trip reports section for reports and images. Around the reserve today we logged 2 Peregrine, 4 Buzzard, 490 E.White-fronted Geese, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Tundra Bean Goose, 3 Water Rail, 3 Spotted Redshank, Cetti's Warbler, 3 Stonechat, 2 continental Greylag and 5 Little Stint to name a few. A more complete update will be added over the next few days.