With the Jims needing the Woodchat Shrike for a life tick we headed off up the M4 this morning in search of that tick. Arriving on Sodbury Common at 7ish we got lucky as we pulled up next to the finder and received detailed advise on where to look as he walked on to work his patch for the morning.
With the rain falling it was proving difficult to find the Shrike but as we walked around finding at least nine Whinchat, several Common Redstart and single Stonechat and a fly over Tree Pipit.
As the rain stopped the Shrike came out to play and flitted from bush top to bush top for the next couple of hours giving the boys good views and ensuring the year tick for me and life tick for them.
Woodchat Shrike at Sodbury Common
Heavily cropped record shot.
The rain continued but being only sixteen miles from Slimbridge we decided on making the journey.I paid my £12.72 (funny amount for an entrance fee?) and walked through the massive visitor centre to the wetlands beyond. First we found Bewick Swan with the Mutes then a large collection of Flamingo which I didn’t expect. From the first hide we found Ruff, Green Sand, Snipe, Blackwit, Little Ringed Plover and Grey Wagtail along with a fly through Sprawk.
At the next hide three Green Sands and a young Wood Sand piped along the fringes and further along we found a pair of Cranes.
The mixed collections of wildfowl took me by surprise but we enjoyed looking through them to find the surprises and enjoy close views of birds like Bufflehead, Canvasback, Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, Smew, Goldeneye, White-headed Duck, Richardsons Canada, Bean Goose and Trumpeter Swan.
Year list now at 256
A few images from the wildfowl collection at Slimbridge:
A little bit of Hawai
It’d be nice to go back when it wasn’t raining!
Essex Birder using the blog as a diary of my trips around the country chasing birds. Enjoying the places it takes me and the people I meet along the way. Great to spend time with my Dad and brother as we chase our year lists and grow our life list in the process.
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