Scaup & Spoonbill, Slimbridge


The spoonbill was easy enough to find on the South Lake for my second record at this Wetland Centre. Big white bird, well, it would be, wouldn’t it? Two male and one female scaup were harder among the tufted ducks on the Rushy Pen for a site and Gloucestershire first.

They also gave me a surreal moment when I thought I had a fourth scaup, a female, in view – a smaller female, which could have been the long-staying lesser scaup. The birds dived and reconfigured. Then try as I might I could not relocate the fourth duck in quarter of an hour. Did I dream it? Was it wishful thinking?

It would have been nice to add to the 104th new species for Slimbridge, which came in the guise of a reed bunting feeding on the way to the Holden Tower. Like last year’s grey wagtail, I can’t believe it’s taken so long to see such a common wetland bird at a WWT Centre.

Apart from these, the Bewick’s swans were still in, as eventually was a flock of hundreds of white-fronted geese that descended out of nowhere. Black-tailed godwit, pintail, snipe, ruff and oystercatcher completed the roster and I am now going to count the mandarin ducks that lurk away off towards the Zeiss hide.

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