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WWT Slimbridge madness (1 Viewer)


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It was madness. Got up at 6am, took the train, rode a bike, and there I was, at Slimbridge. Last time I visited, there was a vagrant red-breasted goose present here, which I took photos of, back in 2018. I began with the Peng observatory. There was supposed to be a greater scaup here, but I was blown away by the incredible beauty of the wild tundra swans so much that I just...ignored everything else.
When I got to the Estuary hide, I noticed something white in the distance. A white goose. But I wasn't here for it- I was here for the cranes. A peregrine flew directly overhead, the reason why everything was so 'brave' out in the wetlands today. Literal clouds of lapwings and dunlins suddenly exploding from out of nowhere suddenly.
Then, a flock of much larger birds flew past. White-fronted geese. I knew they were here- they have already been identified as the Russian variant of Anser albifrons. But as I watched, one bird among them caught my attention. It was like an albifrons, except a bit lighter, it had more white on its head, and I think it had a faint indication of a gold ring around its eye. A lesser white-fronted goose, maybe? Perhaps. (Second photo)
Then, I noticed the star bird. Over the course of a few hours, I watched 15 cranes out on the Dumbles, feeding and flapping lazily about. Cranes were really difficult to see in the past for me, and I was as a result completely blown away by the views I got here today. Definitely the best place in the UK to see this bird.
As I watched, some people nearby diagnosed a white goose in the distance as a snow goose. It then flew right past, showing its beautiful plumage and absolutely no ring on its legs at all, and landed near the swans, where I had an extraordinarly hard time finding it!
Then, a flock of barnacles arrived, and another white goose was among them. But something was off about it- it was clearly smaller than the snow goose which I had seen well, it had a smaller bill, and it had black around the base of the bill. I realised I was looking at a Ross's goose!!
Today I also found a Ruff out in the wetlands
And a family portrait to end the day
What a day! Totally worth it. For my next trip, I plan on putting an obsession I had for years to rest. I finally figured out where to see a very long-staying (escaped? introduced?) wood duck in the wild nearby. I am so excited!
I can't see a prospective Lesser Whitefront in your pictures. Unlike the Ross's Goose with feral Barnacles an LWFG with Russian Whitefronts would be given the benefit of the doubt and news would be broadcast nationally.
Very difficult to pick out. I'm not even sure that is the correct photo I was referring to, I took a lot that day
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