By CleanSteve

A sunny afternoon at WWT Slimbridge ....

A couple of days ago I noticed the weather forecast for today was projected to be very sunny, so I planned to return to WWT Slimbridge to see the array of winter’s migratory visitors, especially the waders. I walked straight to the Estuary Tower overlooking the marshes and meadows close to the River Severn.

There were many people visiting especially it seemed to see the rare avian visitors such as a Glossy Ibis and a Spoonbill, but I managed to miss them. Once on the tower, I started inside the more enclosed first floor viewing space before climbing up to the open-air roof terrace. This does give amazing views around the extensive landscape at Slimbridge, but it has vertical glass panels at either end which does inhibit photography.

I saw thousands of birds and I’m told there were flocks of Dunlin, Lapwing, Ruffs, Black-tailed Godwits, various ducks, Brent and Canada geese, Mute and Bewick’s swans, Jackdaws and Golden Plover. I missed actually seeing a Peregrine Falcon that several times set up the various flocks scattering them high into the sky. There always seemed to be large numbers of birds in the air and calling loudly.

I did see a Sparrowhawk hunting over a nearby hedgerow close to the grassy flood prevention bank just outside the tower. Two cranes flew out to the Dumbles, the marshy land outside the flood bank on the banks of the tidal river, joining another pair already feeding there. Their typical subsequent displays verged on aggression as they leaped up, hopped and flew around each other close to many geese and swans who were undisturbed by their antics. 

Curlews called from just below my perch and I managed to get individual shots of several of them both grazing and in flight. Flocks of curlews flew on distant marshes and fields adjacent to Slimbridge, which all managed for the welfare of the masses of wading birds. The sunset was beautiful and I managed to get a few shots of swans in flight in the last of the bright light just before clouds began to obstruct the sunset.

I’ve added a few extras as I’ve found it hard to choose a specific blip to represent the day.

Sign in or get an account to comment.