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Saturday, 20 February 2016

A trip to Slimbridge - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust HQ!

After years and years of saying I have to visit Slimbridge in Gloucester, I finally made it on Thursday after taking a day off work!
  My lovely family came along, and all 3 of my young daughters brought their cameras too!!
Luckily it was a beautiful sunny day!
   Slimbridge has the largest collection of waterfowl in the world, but it also has wild areas such as the 'New Grounds' by the Severn Estuary, so is a fabulous place to see wild birds too!
   It is particularly one of the few places you can see wild geese in England such as Barnacle Geese and White fronted Geese. Another speciality is the delightful Bewicks Swans that visit here every Winter!
 Confusingly, there are Bewicks in the Slimbridge waterfowl collection too, but you'll know which these are as you can get close enough to touch these tame birds...the wild Bewicks can only be viewed from the hides, or if you're lucky, passing overhead!

I will share the photos from my visit starting with the wild birds, then finishing with some of the tame wing clipped birds from the collection!

^Above^ - Oystercatchers.

^Above^ - Wild Bewicks Swans.

^Above^ - Barnacle Geese.

^Above^ - White Fronted Geese.

^Above^ - Wigeon.

^Above^ - Canada Geese.

^Above^ - Greylag Geese. These are not truly wild like the Barnacle or White Fronted Geese and are mostly resident, but they're not a part of the collection either, hence they can fly!!

^Above^ - Pochard.

^Above^ - Pintail.

^Above^ - Tufted Duck.

^Above^ - Mallard.

^Above^ - Moorhen.

^Above^ - Bickering Coots!

^Above^ - Black Headed Gulls.

^Above^ - Golden Plover.

^Above^ - Mute Swans.

^Above^ - Lapwings. (With some Dunlin, top pics!)

^Above^ - Herring Gulls.

^Above^ - Lesser Black back Gulls.

^Above^ - Little Egret.

^Above^ - Robins.

^Above^ - Great Tit.

^Above^ - Jackdaws.

^Above^ - Rooks.

^Above^ - Shelduck.

^Above^ - Woodpigeons. There's so many on site it's impossible not to photograph them!

^Above^ - Distant Common Cranes. Part of the re-introduction programme in the South West!

^Above^ - Female Blackbird thinking it's a wader!!

^Above^ - Very high up, a Rook was hassling a Sparrowhawk!

^Above^ - Feral Pigeon. Again, not strictly wild!

Below I will share some pics from the collection of wildfowl, these are tame birds.
   I didn't get all their names, they're birds from countries all around the world!
I start with the tame Bewicks Swans though. See how close I could get to these ones!!

^Above^ - Some of the collection, including Smew, Eider and Goldeneye. Notice how the bottom 2 birds are showing their 'clipped' wings, stopping them from flying off!

^Above^ - Flamingoes! No mistaking these exotic creatures as wild birds!!

^Above^ - Finally, proof that Spring is on the way in the Slimbridge car- park!

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