Sunday, 27 January 2008

WWT Slimbridge 26/01/2008

An early start awaited me on Sunday so me and my parents could get to WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. We left our hosue at around 20 past 8 and arrived there at 10:54am. We first went to the Robbie Garnett Hide where I got the first new bird for the year list in the form of Shelduck, there was loads of them swimming and grazing on the marsh. Right at the back were hundereds of European White-Fronted Geese, most of these were busy eating but some were sleeping. A bit nearer the hide were loads of Bewick's Swans. A few thousand Lapwings were giving a marvellous arial dislplay along with hundereds of European Golden Plovers and Dunlins but the reason for the flights wasn't discovered till we reached the next hide.

From the next hide along we saw a 2 Buzzards and thought his was the reason the waders to be flying but that idea soon went out the window when one of them flew into the middle of the marsh and landed right in the middle of the Lapwings and they didn't move a muscle. A few Pintail drifted past looking very elegant and a few Ruffs were mixed in with some Redshank looking very cold. Then all of a sudden all the waders even a Bar-Tailed Godwit flew up again as Peregrine Falcon raced through them snatching what looked like a Lapwing. As it landed another Peregrine joined it. As soon as they had ate that they were up again looking for another tasty wader to eat and this time there target was a Dunlin. They chased it for about a minute with one of them chasing it while the other one flew overhead wating for it to fly underneath it and after a minute there plan had succeded and they had another meal.

We then went to the Holden Tower to look for the Tundra Bean Goose that was spending the winter at WWT Slimbridge. After about 5 minutes a gentleman let me have a look through his telescope at it. He had seen it moving about but at the moment it was sleeping but it was definetly the Bean Goose becuse its head was darker. We then went for lunch.

After lunch we went to Zesis Hide. From there we saw loads of Wigeon and even more waders and another new bird for the yearlist, a Snipe. At half past my dad said it was time to go home so home we went.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Allestree Park 19/01/2008

Just after 12 noon a female Eurasian Sparrowhawk flew over our house and landed on a TV ariel opposite allowing for good views. Its the first time I have seen a Sparrowhawk around our area.

After we had lunch me and my dad went to a local park which normally has wintering flock of Mandarin Ducks but after 2 attempts already this year I hadn't got my hopes up. We first went to the small lake first and after scanning all the very active Tufted Ducks and under every bush I was beginning to think that I wasn't going to see them. We started to continue our walk around the lake when I noticed a female Aix species. I knew that there was an escaped female Wood Duck on the lakes but had never seen it so I got my scope ready to look at it and she swam under the furthest away bush. I could still see her but not clear enough to Id her to a species. Then some body started to feed the Mallards and Canada Geese and the duck was swimming as fast as it could to get there to get some bread and out of nowhere a male Mandarin had appeared.

Wood Duck

Mandarin Duck

Monday, 14 January 2008

Carsington Water 12/01/2008

Me and my parents arrived at Carsington Waters visitor centre at 25 to 3 in the afternoon and after sitting down I started to scan the reservoir for ducks and the sun was shinig and all drakes were shining.

A Redshank flew across the reservoir and after looking at the year tick for about 5 minutes it flew to the furthest corner viewable form the Wildlife Centre. About 4 mins later a huge flock of Canada Geese flew out the fields and landed on the water. In the flock of Canada Geese were about 30 Barnacle Geese and associating with the Barnacles was a lone Lesser Canada Goose of the race minima also known as the Cackling Goose. I was the first to spot this very small Canada Goose and after I had shown everyone in the hide where it was we left the hide.

We then went for a walk around Stones Island to see if we could see the wintering Great Northern Diver and not for the first ime we left dissapointed.

On the way the biggest suprise happened. My dad was driving and just before we reached Hulland Ward a whacking great Indian Peafowl flew out of a field straight over the car with its tail feathers dangling in front of the windscreen and landed in a tree over hanging the road.