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On the 4th January: 


A visit to Congresbury where we saw 2 Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. We returned to Bristol via Chew Valley Lake where the best birds were a Barn Owl, 2 Goosanders and a Chiffchaff.


A drive north from the Solway to Aviemore, along the A9 between Calvine and Kingussie we saw our first wild Red Deer, with around 40 counted, also our first Red Grouse seeing 50+ of them and a single male Snow Bunting. At Loch Garton we saw our first Crested Tits, several of them, and lots of Coal Tits, also 2 Goldcrests.


In the Camargue, where a new birds for us were an immature Spotted Eagle and at a place called La Samatane 5 Rock Buntings and a flock of 43 Little Bustards were also new for us.


In Santa Barbara, at Rocky Nook Park, where I saw a male Hepatic Tanager. By the lake at the Bird Refuge another new bird a 1st winter Thayer's Gull.


After seeing a male Blackcap in the garden, a drive to Slimbridge where there were large numbers of wildfowl. The highlight was a 1st winter male American Wigeon, with around 2000 Wigeon, also there were high numbers of other ducks with 200 Pintail, 300 Pochard and 6 Goldeneye. Also, 100 Bewick's Swans, 2000 White-fronted Geese, 6 Barnacle Geese and a Brent Goose. Amongst the 100 or so Dunlin was a Little Stint. There was a flock of 100+ Skylarks and a group of about 30 Tree Sparrows. Also seen were 2 Peregrines and a male Merlin.


A short drive to Kingston Seymour where there was a Cattle Egret with 3 Little Egrets in one of the cattle fields, also seen were 300+ Redwings and Fieldfares.


A couple of hours at the Cotswold Water Park, at pit 44 there were 32 Red-crested Pochard, then at pit 56 a male and 2 female Goosanders, on pit 74 there were lots of ducks including a male Goldeneye.

Red-crested Pochard 200104-07, Cotswold
Red-crested Pochard 200104-08, Cotswold
Red-crested Pochard 200104-09, Cotswold
Red-crested Pochard 200104-06, Cotswold



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