Great start to new year. New Year's Day found me pulling up at Slimbridge WWT just before it opened. I like Slimbridge, and it provided I nice start to my year list. Enjoyed some good views of Peregrines from the Holden Tower, as well as a large dog fox trying unsuccessfully to creep up on some of the geese flocks. Every hide provided something of interest. Obviously this estuary of the river Seven produced some nice waterfowl ticks to start the year.
I also stumbled across a few opportunities for decent pictures, both from my Camera, and digiscoping with the iPhone handheld.
This Pintail is one of my favourite pictures of the day (Canon SX40)
Again (Canon SX40) Long Tailed Tit.
As usual, I couldn't resist holding the phone up to the scope eyepiece to try and get a record snap of what I was looking at.
Distant Spotted Redshank. (iPhone) 70 yards. The guy sat next to me in the hide with all manner of DSLR equipment couldn't believe the images my Canon SX40 bridge camera was capturing at easily 70 yard with admittedly decent light, but subject not ideally placed. This Spotted Redshank was taken using digital zoom. The consequence of digital zoom is a significant reduction in picture quality. I didn't get chance to try the scope and iPhone on this one. Lost track of it when it spooked due to wheeling Lapwings.
There were in excess of 5000 Lapwing on site, maybe it was the three Peregrines on site, but something had them spooked. Every so often, they would take to the air simultaneously. The sight of this alone was amazing, but the combined sound of many thousand pairs of wings moving low and at speed was breathtaking.
I will definitely be visiting Slimbridge again, and soon. I have spoken to birders that don't like the commercial aspect of Slimbridge because of the crowds it draws. This is in part true. The place can get seriously busy. Me, I tend to avoid the park and head straight for the hides. The only main hide that you have to go through the park for is the Zeiss hide, I visit that dependent on crowds.
Again, the phone scoping surprised me with some decent record shots. Light was,good for photography today.
I am now looking forward to my local birding and patching. My main patch is still in a poor state due to flooding and difficult to get around. Conditions improving fast though.