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On the 19th January:


Overnight in Auckland, North Island New Zealand, in the morning I headed southeast to the Firth of Thames, to Miranda, an area of coastal mudflats at the base of the Firth of Thames on its western shore, renowned for its huge numbers of wintering waders.

Here new birds were Wrybill, Royal SpoonbillLittle Black ShagSharp-tailed Sandpipers, New Zealand Dotterel and White-fronted Tern.










Photo: Wrybill.


After huge numbers of Waxwings had invaded Scotland in the Autumn, flocks slowly made their way south and today while at the Health Centre in Portishead I heard and then saw a flock of 47 birds in the trees by the centre, they were there for several minutes before flying off towards Nore Road.


A drive to Gloucester, to a new area for me called Horsbere Lake, a flood storage lake to the north of the city. I arrived late morning and the birds I had come to see had recently flown off! During the wait for their return I saw at least 4 Chiffchaffs, quite impressive for such a small area, also about 6 Reed Buntings, 2 Stonechats and a fly-over Raven.

Eventually the birds returned, 2 male Penduline Tits, feeding on the Reed Mace, good views but not close enough for photos.


There was thick fog along the Severn for most of the morning, as it began to lift I went to Barrow Reservoirs to see the Long-tailed Duck, I saw it, but it was on the other side of tank number 3 and although it was now bright and sunny, it was freezing cold, so I only got a distant record shot!

Then I went to Chew Valley Lake, there were lots of ducks and gulls, the best being 8 Bewick's Swans, a Great White Egret, 4 Goosander, a Kingfisher and a Water Rail.




Photos: Very distant Long-tailed Duck.




              Male Goosander.

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