WWT Goodies

Sunday 21st December 2014
Rudy Shelduck, in captive company
I spent a welcome break from fatherly duties (a.k.a. Paul's Removals and Junk Disposal) with Andy and Mark at WWT Slimbridge where we caught up with some nice birds. First, we found the Whooper Swan in the first field on the right after the canal bridge; on its own at 8.30am, but later at 11.30am with Bewick's. A mystery duck of apparently very mixed origins was at Martin Smith hide, with features recalling a few species including Red-crested Pochard and Pintail.
Who are you ... who who, who who ??
A Water Rail was showing well at Willow Hide, swimming right in front of us, though poor light excused the poor photos I got. From Holden Tower, a Marsh Harrier flew past from the direction of Middle Point and towards the Top New Piece, where it was seen to take a hapless Black-tailed Godwit for breakfast. We watched a Barn Owl hunting distantly beyond, and entering an opening in one of the pill boxes. On South Lake two Avocets were present, and also a Ruff, among the Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwings. We looked in the Asia Pen for a Ruddy Shelduck seen the day before, and there amongst the captive birds was a fully-winged, un-ringed female bird. We took the loop past Hogarth Hide and looked through a tit flock, finding a Goldcrest and, the one that got away for the day, possibly a Firecrest which only Andy saw anything of.
Water Rail, WWT (Andy Chapman)
Whooper Swan, Slimbridge
I recently found this interesting Sessile Earthstar at Lower Rea, not rare, but still nice to stumble across locally.
Sessile Earthstar, Lower Rea, Quedgeley
Finally, a Noon Fly which Mark spotted and ID'd at Bourton Pits last weekend in our fruitless search for Willow Tit there.
Noon Fly (photographed 11.19am)

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