Slimbridge Wild Birds Feed

U3A WWT Slimbridge 30 01 ’17
Wild Birds Feed
This takes place soon after the wintering birds and Bewick Swans arrive here from Arctic Russia. The early ones arrive in October, don’t expect to see any in Slimbridge after February!
They have a tight programme flying the 2,500 kms to their breeding grounds, finding a partner bringing up their family then leaving the area before the cold weather sets in.
We sat in the comfortable Peng Observatory to see the daily 4 pm feed done by a Warden who after his introduction went outside collected his wheelbarrow , sounded a whistle then threw out the food into the water.
We listened to his informative and interesting commentary as he walked and fed the birds from the waters edge for about 50 metres.
There were hundreds of birds on the pond including Pochard, Tufted ducks, Shelducks, Pintails, Mallard, Greylags, Canada geese, Mute Swans, 140 Bewick Swans Moorhen and Coot, there was a Little stint somewhere!
Prior to the feed we had an excellent demonstration of Lapwings in flight, how good to see these wonderful birds some starlings were also with them. A couple of Common Cranes probably from the GCP were briefly seen at the end.
We thanked the Warden at question time, it had been an enjoyable forty minutes or so.

South Lake Observatory
We spent about ¾ hr here before the main event. There is a shallow end suitable for waders and a deep end for diving ducks with a causeway between the two.
Cormorants, Pochard, Tufted ducks, G C Grebes, Shovelers, Lapwings, Dunlin, Herring Lesser BB and BH gulls, Grey heron were some of the wild birds recorded
Since the frost the wading birds have not yet returned, probably still in the Zeiss area.

For the record a total of 32 species was recorded. An enjoyable afternoon thanks to the 21 members who took part.

Great crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey heron, Mute swan, Bewick’s swan, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Shelduck, Teal, Mallard, Pintail, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted duck, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Crane, Lapwing, Dunlin, Snipe, Blk-tailed godwit, B H gull, L BB gull, Herring gull, Woodpigeon, Pied wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, Blue tit, Jackdaw, Starling