Zoo Trip #42: Slimbridge (Friday 30 January 2015)
When I drove off on Friday morning to buy groceries I had no idea that I would end up at Slimbridge WWT, enticed by the crisp blue skies. On the way I drove over the River Avon at Easton Grey, along Bowldown Road near Westonbirt and through the Cotswolds but on a different route than before, arriving at the village of Slimbridge and pausing at the Black Shed café to have a quick look at the canal.
I had a snack lunch at the centre before heading off for the Willow Hide in search of the water rail I had heard was there. I didn't have to wait very long before one swam up to the banks close to the hide. Although I have heard these secretive birds before I had never seen one, let alone photograph a pair, so my blip had to be of the water rail. I also photographed long-tailed tits and a blue tit on the feeders, and got my first shot of a wren.
As I made my way slowly towards the Kingfisher Hide at the other end of the centre I was lucky to get some close-up shots of the resident American river otters and also saw a flock of lesser flamingos being corralled from one pool to another. I didn't reach the Kingfisher Hide as it was time for the wild bird feed, but on the way back I called in at the Hogarth Hide and got a good view of a grey heron fishing on the South Lake.
I'd hoped again to see my first Whooper swan, but it hadn't come in from the outlying fields by feeding time and will soon be migrating back to Iceland, but I was satisfied with what I had seen, and learned as I left that a bittern was living close by to the Kingfisher Hide and had been seen that afternoon - something to try to see at the next visit.
It was good to begin the return journey in daylight, and I stopped at the new Waitrose in Malmesbury for the first time, to review the day's images over cake and coffee.
It took several days to work through all that I had taken, so I am now a week or so behind real time, but have linked to the album of the final 120 images below, and should be catching up soon as I have taken only a handful of shots since.
6.2.2015 (1145 hr)
Blip #1490 (#1740 including archived blips)
Consecutive Blip #052
LOTD #725 (#845 including archived blips)
Heron On South Lake
A Visit To Slimbridge WWT, 30 January 2015 (Flickr album)
Lenses: Pentax 12-24 mm, Pentax 17-70 mm, Pentax 55-300 mm (Blip), iPad
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust series
Zoo Trip series
Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Don Covay - Mercy Mercy (recorded 18 May 1964, A-1 Studio, New York NY, for Rosemart)
Don Covay (vcl), Jimi Hendrix (ld gtr), Bob Bushnell (rh gtr), Horace Ott (kbds, vcl), Ron Miller (bass), Bernard Purdie (dr)
R.I.P. Don Covay (24 March 1938, Orangeburg SC - 30 January 2015, Franklin Square , New York NY)
I discovered the great Don Covay via the Stones' version of this song on their Out Of Our Heads album, recorded at Chess in May 1965. He was clearly a great inspiration on Mick Jagger's style. This early single features brilliant guitar work by a young Hendrix, long before he formed the Experience.
One Year Ago: #Shelfie 5: James Bond 007