The ominous black clouds that appeared some time after I had set off for Gloucestershire waited until I had stopped at the Sharpness Canal before releasing the downpour, so I arrived at Slimbridge Wetland Centre for my second visit well soaked. The first thing I did was go up the Sloane Tower for a panoramic view. I realised it was a mistake immediately, as I experienced giddiness, sickness, lack of balance and a feeling of unsafeness. I quickly fired off a few wonky shots before making my way down again. Thankfully, the rain had stopped and the sun had come out.
I then made my way to In Focus as I needed to try out some binoculars to replace my ageing zooming pair. After trying out several, using the view of Rushy Pen that the shop overlooked, I chose some 8x42's with excellent optics. Armed with these I tried them out at other hides and got some excellent views including some of a little egret. When I reached the Holden Tower, I found the Summer Walkway was open this time, and I made my way to the Severn Estuary and stopped near the sea wall to eat the delicious Dagwood baguette I had bought at Sam Widge's in Calne before setting out.
My last visit had been primarily to see the Bewick's swans before they all migrated, so I was surprised to see half a dozen or so on or beside Swan Lake that had apparently decided not to make the trip. The path leading to the Otter Pool was being guarded by a pair of swans with six cygnets, and there were a number of people unable to continue on their way, but my second challenge of the day was to get past them by walking onto the grass beside the path. I succeeded without injury, but the cob swan did advance on me in a menacing manner, hissing the while. Once past though, realising I was no danger, I was allowed to venture quite close. I saw them again on my return route, when they were all gliding along the water, and watched them come ashore and start grooming and preening themselves.
I was in time to witness the otter feed, and got some good pictures of their three North American river otters, Flo, Minnie and Ha Ha. Flo is the mother of the other two, and her brothers live at Bristol Zoological Gardens. The view I have chosen to blip, however, was taken later in the afternoon, after I had finished exploring. This time all the flamingos were out in their pools, whereas before they had all been sheltered in large sheds, and I also came across Peter Scott's own tractor. A new Discovery hide overlooking the South Lake was due to open in a few days, so an area was sealed off, but further along the Hogarth Hide afforded other views of it.
The afternoon was rounded off with a cappuccino in the restaurant, and I had a pleasant journey back on steep windy back roads that avoided Dursley and Tetbury and led me to Westonbirt, Easton Grey, Sutton Benger and home.
I took well over 229 pictures, and as I had a backlog to contend with before beginning the post-processing, it was only yesterday that I finished work on the 150 or so that I kept. I've linked to the Flick set below.
Consecutive Blip #005
A Day At Slimbridge, 14 June 2013 (Flickr set)
Taken Through Glass series
Lozarhythms Of The Day:
Lloyd Cole & the Commotions - Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken? (1986)
Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken (2006)
One year ago: Sells Green (Kennet & Avon)