Zoo Trip #40: Slimbridge (Friday 16 January 2015)
I drove over to Slimbridge listening among other things to Will Self talking about Psychogeography to Mark Radcliffe on 6 Music. Ironically I had confused Malmesbury and Cirencester in my mind and was expecting the road layout for one as I approached the other. I think the sat-nav had been similarly influenced as instead of taking me the obvious way via Stroud from Cirencester, it led me to the M5 via the Air Balloon near Birdlip, and then back down to Slimbridge, adding some twenty miles to my ecologically chosen route.
I had gone to Slimbridge primarily to see the two Whooper swans that have been there recently. They were with the Bewick's swans on the field in front of the Martin Smith hide, but were expected to fly in to the Rushy Pen at the wild bird feed at four o'clock.
Unfortunately, because it was bright and sunny, the swans were all too content where they were, feeding naturally, and ignored the free food, staying where they were. A few Bewick's flew in and I was taken with how the sunlight illuminated the underside of this one, taken through glass in the Peng Observatory.
I surveyed the scene from the Martin Smith hide but was unable to identify the Whoopers amongst the other swans. I did see five common cranes, though, and a beautiful fox who fancied his chances among the ducks. They all crowded together and swam towards him in an attempt to intimidate him, and he moved on. Last year two crane chicks were predated by a fox, perhaps this one. An island has now been created for the cranes so that the fox can't get to them.
The journey home was also by an unexpected route as the road was unexpectedly closed at Kingscote, due to an accident. There were no Diversion signs and I had to negotiate some tiny, winding and precipitous dirt tracks through Newington Bagshot to get past the blocked roads, but returned successfully via Badminton, Acton Turville, Castle Combe and Chippenham.
20.1.2015 (1907 hr)
Blip #1476 (#1726 including archived blips)
Consecutive Blip #038
LOTD #711 (#831 including archived blips)
Swans At Dusk
A Visit To Slimbridge WWT, 16 January 2015 (Flickr album)
Lenses: Pentax 50 mm f1.8, Pentax 35 mm Macro, Pentax 55-300 mm (Blip), iPad
Taken Through Glass series
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust series
Zoo Trip series
Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Pinkshinyultrablast - Umi (2014)
One year ago: Amigo