I went back on Thursday to Slimbridge WWT to concentrate on the parts of the centre I hadn't seen on my recent visit.
Whereas on previous visits I had stopped off at the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal at Slimbridge and Purton, this time I made for the next bridge over the canal north of Slimbridge, the Cambridge Arms Bridge. Here the River Cam, which rises at Cam, near Dursley, flows into the canal. A stream runs alongside the lane leading to the bridge and I surprised a little egret that took off and flew in front of me, landing in a field to my left. A mute swan flew over the canal bridge to rejoin its partner on the canal near to the mouth of the Cam. It was windy and freezing cold, being so exposed with the Severn estuary so close by, so after a brief walk on the towpath on both sides of the bridge I returned to the car for a warming lunch at Slimbridge WWT.
The days are so short that the light was already failing after lunch at 14:30 hr but I had a very enjoyable walk all around the reserve, taking in the flamingos, ducks, swans, gulls and tropical birds, including this dabbling duck, a Puna Teal, with its striking light blue bill. It comes from the Andes of Peru, parts of Bolivia and Argentina and northern Chile, where it inhabits the large lakes and pools in the altiplano.
I made it back to the Rushy Pen Hide in time for the wild bird feed at 16:00 hr. The sounds of the greylag geese, Canada geese and Bewick's swans were almost drowned out by all the rooks and jackdaws preparing to roost in the large trees opposite the Pen. The light had all but gone and many of the pictures I took had blurry birds in them because of the slow shutter speeds, and I left at around 16:20 hr.
Consecutive Blip #008
Gull Over The Canal
Gull On Post
Black-Necked Swans At Slimbridge
Rushy Pen At Dusk
A Visit To Slimbridge WWT, 19 December 2013 (Flickr set)
Lens: Pentax 55-300 mm
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust series
Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Jessy Bell Smith - Deep Water (2013)
One year ago: Smokey 1733 hr