WWT Slimbridge Birding

Saturday 7th January 2012
Female Lesser Scaup
... the best kind of birding when it's like this morning and it's your first birding of the year. The target birds initially proved elusive though. I had to wait over half an hour to eventually locate one of the BITTERNS as it crept through the reed-bed in front of Zeiss Hide. A Cetti's Warbler was more accommodating showing a couple of time near the hide and singing. After an earlier unsuccessful search I returned to the Rushy and then Robbie Garnett Hide where the female LESSER SCAUP was showing nicely, albeit in its usual sleepy state. Each raise of its head was accompanied by a burst of shutters from within the hide. More photos below. 
The Tack Piece was teeming with thousands of waterfowl and waders, the latter being frequently panicked into the air by a young Peregrine causing the Dunlin, Lapwing and Golden Plover flocks to take to the air. The waders also included at least three Ruffs and 15 Redshanks.
Male Pochard
From Holden Tower the 225 White-fronted Geese was the highest count so far this winter (though still no Beans). A large gull in the Rushy was appeared to be the result of a Herring Gull x Lesser Black-backed liaison. My year list is looking bit healthier now (though I still haven't seen a Dunnock in 2012!).
Apparent Herring x Lesser Black-backed hybrid

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