Walking among Red-breasted Geese: the Slimbridge feeling

When the sun is shining through our window in the morning I am always forced to go out and see the birds in their full spectacle. Today was not any different and despite the yellow warning of snow for much around London and south east England we departed to spend a nice day in the famous WWT Centre in Slimbridge.

A nice sculpture of the late Sir Peter Scott, the funder. He is always among his birds and his binoculars. © Gyorgy Szimuly

A nice monument of the late Sir Peter Scott, the funder. He is always among his birds and his binoculars. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Close-up with a beautiful  Red-breasted Goose. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Close-up with a beautiful Red-breasted Goose. © Gyorgy Szimuly

At our arrival we were immediately impressed by the lots of birds walking or swimming literally around our legs. Greylag Geese, Mute Swans, Tundra Swans (#75 bird in 2013), Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Common Shelducks (#76/2013) and Common Moorhens were present at the entrance. As scanned a flock of Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Black-headed Gull I heard an Eurasian Oystercatcher calling though I could not see it.

Nice flock of Red-breasted Geese walking on the footpath. © Andrea Szimuly

Nice flock of Red-breasted Geese walking on the footpath. © Andrea Szimuly

Introducing the cuteness of waterbirds to Kea. © Andrea Szimuly

Introducing the cuteness of waterbirds to Kea. © Andrea Szimuly

Kea is in touch with Greylag Geese. © Andrea Szimuly

Kea is in touch with Greylag Geese. © Andrea Szimuly

Mixed flock of the beauties. © Andrea Szimuly

Mixed flock of the beauties. © Andrea Szimuly

Apparently birding was a secondary activity since Slimbridge is more like a zoo than a primary birding location what Kea obviously enjoyed a lot. At the South Lake I allowed myself a little time for birding. While walking towards the hide a small flock of Black-tailed Godwits (#77/2013) flew to the lake. A Common Redshank called south of the South Lake. The hide was an excellent shelter from the freezing and really unpleasant weather. At our arrival the 14 Black-tailed Godwits were on the mud together with 6 Northern Lapwings. No other wader species was seen even though a Pied Avocet and a pair of mating Eurasian Oystercatchers were reported from the previous day. The unfrozen part of the lake was full of waterbirds including Greylag Goose, Common Shelduck, Mallard, GadwallEurasianEurasian Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Great Cormorant, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Lesser Black-backed Gull, European Herring Gull and Black-headed Gull.

Northern Lapwing. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Northern Lapwing. © Gyorgy Szimuly

On our way back to the Centre 4 Common Redpoll was seen in the bushes at the edge of a small ditch.

Just before entered the village 4 Eurasian Curlews were feeding on a pasture. Which was again a new bird for the year (#78/2013). The 79th year lister was two Grey Partridge which I saw outside Slimbridge.

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