Slimbridge and Stonebench

Saturday 21st July 2007

It was a much better day than yesterday, much brighter with only a few periods of very light rain and feeling much warmer, although many of the local lanes were still flooded. With news of a Curlew Sandpiper, I headed for WWT Slimbridge, made for the Zeiss Hide, set up the scope and there it was right in the middle of the view. It was a cracking adult in summer-plumage, although quite distant (in the bottom photo you can just pick out the brick-red bird among the Dunlin). Also from the Zeiss Hide, three Green Sandpipers, two Spotted Redshanks, one still in black summer plumage, 108 Common Redshanks, 140 Dunlin, four Black-tailed Godwits, one Oystercatcher and one Common Tern. On South Lake, a male Ruff, a Green Sandpiper, two very vocal Kingfishers, two Oystercatchers, the two Spotted Redshanks seen earlier at Zeiss Hide, two Black-tailed Godwits, 40+ Common Redshanks and 10 Dunlin. Also a pair of Great Crested Grebes copulating on the Tern island. Near the hide there was a male and a female Blackcap and a Tit flock including juvenile Long-tailed Tits.

On the way back I had a text from Mark Hobson who had found a male Redstart at Stonebench, Elmore. I wasn't far away and got there in about 5 minutes. We watched this lovely bird feeding and calling for at least half an hour. An excellent finish to the day's birding and also local patch tick. (Photos of male Redstart, male Kingfisher, juvenile Long-tailed Tit, and bottom long-range photos, Curlew Sandpiper © Paul Masters)



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