8th of June 2013.
WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre.

Species seen 49.

Today my day started early meeting up with Gary and Steve, two regular birding buddies from WWT Brandon Marsh, on the agenda was a trip to the Slimbridge Wetlands Centre. A stop on route for a hearty breakfast set us all up for what was to be a warm breezy day. This is always a great place to see both their captive birds, and the wild birds that drop in to the Severn Estuary area.

2 Cranes over the car park area
The highlights were seven Common Crane, two around the overspill car park area and five in the estuary area seen from the Zeiss hide. Six Avocet (three on nests) 28 Black Tailed Godwits, four Little Egrets and a solitary Kingfisher. It’s always good to see a Kingfisher, however more so this visit as in February there was no reports of these stunning birds!


One of the captive Cranes
Taking a tour of the hides beginning with the Martin Smith hide gave us our first Little Egret, Little Grebe and a field full of Wood Pigeons and Shelduck. Moving on towards the Holden hide we stopped at all the others plus the screens. Knott pool had Reed Warblers testing our camera reactions? At Holden hide we has superb views of the Severn Estuary and the surrounding area. Interestingly upon leaving we passed under a nest, here could be seen two open mouths of the young awaiting the return of their adults with food. 

Estuary hide complete
with white plastic chairs
From here we took the “Summer Walkway” that takes you along the sea dyke towards the estuary where there is a unique hide which is an old van that looks like a former ambulance. The birds seen were more Shelduck, Carrion Crow, Oystercatchers and Curlew. This area was disappointing even though the mud flats we exposed, it didn’t give up much in the way of waders?
Total wild birds sightings today were, Greylag, Mute Swan, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Buzzard, Oystercatcher, Redshank,  Black headed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Rock Dove, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Jay, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Pheasant,  Long Tailed Tit, Coot, Moorhen, House Sparrow, Swallow, Swift, House Martin, Teal, Tufted Duck, Willow Warbler, Skylark, Grey Heron, Redshank and Kingfisher. Within the collection are a number of resident Bewick Swans.

I will return to Slimbridge again later in the year, once the winter birds start to return.