On the 22nd January:
A trip to Slimbridge where there were hundreds of Wigeon, lots of Pintail, over 200 Teal, around 800 White-fronted Geese, a Barnacle Goose and about 300 Bewick's Swans. Also lots of Curlew, about 50 Dunlin, at least 3 Grey Plovers and a Tree Sparrow. On the foreshore at Frampton-on-Severn we saw 6 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, around 300 Dunlin, 3 Shelducks and 11 White-fronted Geese. In the woodland behind the pools at Frampton we saw a Willow Tit.
A cold, mainly calm, bright day at Chew Valley Lake on the day of the national gull census, before the count a look around the lake where we saw 407 Ruddy Ducks, 3 Shelducks, 6 Chiffchaffs, a Cetti's Warbler, 14 Goldeneyes, 37 Goosanders, a male Red-breasted Merganser, a 1st winter Long-tailed Duck, 30+ Lapwing and around 20 Fieldfares. Towards mid afternoon we took up position at Heron's Green Bay, one of 4 viewing points around the lake, here we counted over 3000 gulls coming in to roost on the lake, but other points had far more, with a total of 43,565 gulls for the lake, mainly made up of Black-headed and Common Gulls, of course the best gulls were at other sites, a Ring-billed Gull at Herriott's Bridge and 2 Little Gulls from the dam.
A drive towards Oxford, at Fyfield we saw around 300 Fieldfares, 10+ Redwings, 10+ Mistle Thrushes, 100+ Starlings, 20+ Chaffinches and 5 Bramblings. We arrived at Brill and immediately saw the sub-adult White-tailed Eagle sat in a tree, a probable 4th year bird it stayed in view for most of the afternoon, never that close, perched views were at about half a mile distance and in flight around 400 yards was its closest. But even at these distances with such a massive bird most plumage details were easily seen. Also seen in the area were around 40 Golden Plovers, about 30 Tree Sparrows, 2 Reed Buntings, 20+ Skylarks and a Sparrowhawk.
In Tanzania, with the day spent travelling to Lake Manyara, 7 new birds seen today.
Photo: Abdim's Stork.
A morning visit to the Marshfield area, where there was a flock of around 50 Skylarks, at least 6 Yellowhammers and 20+ Corn Buntings, also there were Linnets, Chaffinches, Redwings, Fieldfares and Meadow Pipits. Pheasants were commoner towards the north, also 2 Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Raven.
Photos: Corn Bunting & Yellowhammer