Saturday, 8 August 2015

Most Recent Visit to Slimbridge WWT

Hello all,
About a month ago, I visited Slimbridge WWT again, and there were many brilliant birds. Below are some of them, with my own photos.

 First, there was a moorhen nest, slightly late, but still strong. In this photo to the left shows an adult moorhen feeding a Moorhen Chick.  A nest close to the bridge was gave many photo opportunities, with about 6 chicks.

Although Moorhens are very common birds, it is still fascinating to just watch the antics of the chicks as they tumble out the nest. Some nests had up to eight chicks, often as insurance to account for the chicks that become tasty morsels for crows or predatory birds.

 Here, to the left, is the beautiful Barn Owl, which made two runs in front of the Kingfisher hide, in broad daylight.

This was the first Barn Owl of 2015, and the first good view of my life. The heart shaped face and ghostly white colour made the bird stand out from the trees. The leisurely flight made it almost hard to believe that this is one of the most efficient predators in the bird world.

 To the left, you can see a pair of common Cranes, more common at Slimbridge that any other place in Britain thanks to the Great Crane Project on the Somerset Levels and Slimbridge.
There are small, isolated populations in East Anglia as well.
The aim of the GCP is to reintroduce the once extinct birds back into Britain, but under the watchful eyes of conservationists. The other conservation project in which Slimbridge is involved is the Spoon billed Sandpiper project, to reintroduce the near worldwide extinct birds to Russia and some of Asia/Europe

Another bird that has recovered due to conservation projects is the Avocet. Dubbed as "the Audrey Hepburn of the bird world" by Chris Packham, this stylish wader often comes close to the hides at Slimbridge.

Their specialised upcurving bill allows them to sieve the water for small molluscs and other creatures.
In the photo below, you can see two Avocets preening with their bills.

Lastly, below, you can see a Robin. This was the closest a Robin has ever approached me, and at one point, it was TOO CLOSE for my camera to focus!

Overall, a successful visit.
Keep tuned for more!

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