Monday, 1 May 2017

April 30th Slimbridge

Laura (my sister-in-law) feeding a Graylag
On Sunday, my family and I were at Slimbridge to show my young niece, Ava, the wildfowl in their collection. The wildfowl here are from all over the world and a few of them are endangered and come in many shapes, sizes and colours. Here are some of my favourites...

Mute Swan
Bewick's Swan
Tufted Duck
Hawaiian Goose 
Black Brant
Eider
Goldeneye
Scaup
American Wood Duck
Ruddy-headed Goose
Cinnamon Teal
Black-winged Stilt
African Pygmy Goose
Mousebird
Turaco
Upland Goose
Red-crowned Crane
North American Otter

Caribbean Flamingo
Slimbridge also has in it's collection possibly every species of flamingo I can think of. These birds, in particular, fascinated young Ava. Her eyes were transfixed at them with fascination and curiosity as these large, strange-looking, pink creatures paraded in front of her.  I can only imagine what she thinks of them after seeing one for the first time. I wonder if she will become a birdwatcher when she grows up?
Andean Flamingo
Chilean Flamingo
Greater Flamingo
Lesser Flamingo
Greylag gosling
As well as all the captive birds, Slimbridge also has a few hides to view some wild birds, too. From one of them, we saw some avocets, male ruffs in their fantastically varied breeding plumage, black-tailed godwits, greylags with goslings and, my personal highlight of the day, a common sandpiper. There was also a common crane (one of the ones that were captive bred and released by Slimbridge) on a nest. Apparently it is sitting on an egg, which is fantastic news for this rare bird that was once extinct in the UK. The future is looking a little promising for the cranes here in West England it seems.

Avocet
Ruff
Black-tailed Godwit and Black-headed Gull
Common Sandpiper
Common Crane

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