Chew and Other Musings

Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th February 2012
Yellow-browed Warbler, Stratford Hide
A good day's birding with Andy on Friday in Somerset started at Chew Valley Lake before 8am. In -8oC temperatures at Herriot's Bridge the SPOTTED SANDPIPER still had frost on its back before the sun was up. Lot's of Goldeneyes and Goosanders were off Picnic Area No.1 plus the drake Red-breasted Merganser. A Cetti's Warbler and a few Siskins were at Picnic Area No. 2, but the star bird of the day was the YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Stratford Hide in the afternoon. We watched it for some time in front of the hide, and later fly-catching in the sun from trees to the left. Also here was a Chiffchaff, this was very grey looking with just the merest hint of buff on its flanks; with no call though we weren't able to confirm Siberian tristis but it looked very good. At Portishead four Purple Sandpipers were at Battery Point at high tide, and we stopped of at Avonmouth on the way back where a Bittern was still showing, one of two that had been seen earlier. No sign of the Little Gull here, but viewing is very difficult through the only gap in the hedge. There was also no sign of Shorties at Aust Warth.
Spotted Sandpiper at dawn, now with added spots ... and frost,  Herriot's Bridge
The WWT Festival of Birds was very enjoyable on Saturday, the snow giving a picturesque look to everything, though the severe frost had disrupted the wild birds with no sign of Bittern at Zeiss Hide. It was nice to see the LESSER SCAUP again though in a very crowed Rushy Pen late afternoon.
Teasel, near South Lake hide, Slimbridge WWT
The South Lake causeway
The mostly ice-covered South Lake
No Bitterns showing from Zeiss Hide - a bleak-looking Top New Piece
These Willows in the snow look stunning, like a Renoir
The Rushy Pen - waiting for the afternoon feed
The Rushy again - The Lesser Scaup can be seen if you look hard
A crowded Rushy Pen at dusk, seen from Sloane Tower

Comments

Found your blog via my mate's Marc Heath's site and enjoyed it very much.I have added you to my blogs to follow.If you get a spare moment you might take a look at my effort, The Broadstairs Birder. Best Wishes Phil Parker.

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