We, the research team from WWT travelled to 4 of our centres this week to carry out routine ringing, heath checks and screening for Avian Influenza in any waterfowl that got caught in our decoys. It started off on Monday (5th Feb) leaving WWT Slimbridge en route to WWT Welney. Nothing much around at Slimbridge that morning but nice to see quite a few Bewick Swans in for the morning feed, also watching a pair of Peregrines over the dumbles scattering everything! What a sight! Arrived at Welney in the dark, straight for supper and then back to the B+B for an early night as Tuesday was gunna be busy!! Up very early on Tuesday and 26 Whooper Swans, 50+ Pochard were caught. All birds processed very quickly and then we had an hour to spend at Welney before shooting of to our next centre (Martin Mere!) With not having much time on my hands I persuade one of my colleagues at Welney to show me the Tundra Bean Geese, 3 birds seen. Also another one of my colleagues managed to get Water Pipit, which I was rather miffed at not seeing! ;( It was nice to see a wide range of waterfowl at Welney - Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pinktail, Shelduck, Pochard, Gadwall, Teal and Wigeon.Arrived at Martin Mere just after the afternoon swan feed, this is one of my favorite sights at Martin Mere!! Hen Harrier seen in the background beyond the mere, Short eared owl and Peregrine also logged. Arrived at Martin Mere (Weds) around 7.30ish, no birding in the morning as we had to start straight away... 34 Whooper Swans caught + over 80 ducks! Had one or two hours to spend at Martin Mere before our departure. Birds seen - Grt Spotted Woodpecker (3 together!), Tree Sparrows nest building, Hen Harrier again, Peregrine, Buzzard, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl and Merlin all seen...After that it was onto our final centre, WWT Caerlaverock!! My favorite wetland centre. Nice to see a field full of Pinkfeet on our approach to the centre in Annan (1500+ birds). The usual suspects seen..... Barnacle Geese, Whooper Swans, Buzzard, Peregrine, Twite, 80+ Siskin, Golden plover - 100+. The Red Breasted Goose made a guest appearance after spending time on the English side of the Solway, so it was nice to catch up with this since my last visit! Also seen.....wait for it.... Otter!!After we had all done at Caerlaverock it was off back down the M6 to home for a well needed rest! All in all a very busy but successful few days......its always nice to escape from the office!
and we will get you joined up to the blog! Young birders are a rarity nowadays, so you should feel honoured if you have joined that you are part of one of the only communities of young birders in the world!