Todays pics inc Water Rail on Ice!

Left the house this morning undecided as to whether to go to Newport Wetlands or Slimbridge. Got to the Slimbridge turn of and decided to go on to Newport. Five minutes later it started snowing and I decided to go back to Slimbridge in case the snow started to get heavier - besides I didn't want to pay £6.20 to cross tyhe bridge if there was any danger of having to cut my day short(-:). Slimbridge was really strange as there was not a lot about - no waders in the usual places, and no ducks or geese where 6 days ago there was hardly any visible grass. I guess the fact that the ground and water were frozen had much to do with it and the tide was well on the way out in the estuary. 

First sighting was the 5th Buzzard of the day, the other 4 having been perched by the motorway - as ever.

The only thing on the Tack Piece area were Bewick's Swans - there was nearly an air traffic control issue.

This one was vdefinitely surprised at how hard the water was!

lenty of small birds about in the undergrowth:



and a cute little Wren

Canada Geese flying from inland out into the estuary.

Mr Pintail doing some serious neck stretctching to Mrs Pintail

Grey Heron

Mr and Mrs Mandarin -

although the light was not good, I can at last see some of the colour that Mrs Mandarin has about her.


The Greylag were overly shy

ut not so the Moorhen.

The solitary Lapwing came closer to the hide, though he needs his bill washed. It's a shame there was no sunlight as he would have been irridescent at that range.

This Tufted Duck seems to nibbling at the edge of the ice.

I made my last visit to the Holden hide down by the estuary before leaving and called into the spot where there had apparently been a Water Rail showing. There had been no sign of it when I had been there earlier in the day and there was no sign of it this time. I called up to the Holden hide for a while but it was all quiet except for a mixed flock of Canada and Barnacle Geese. So I decided to head for home as the light was very poor even though it was only twenty past three. One last call at the area where the Water Rail was alleged to be  and bingo, what a lucky boy I was. It came right out into the open on the ice several times and I was able to get some shots and a couple of very short videos. I was shooting at f5.6, 1/50sec and ISO 640 so i have a lot of shots with motion blur head or tail or legs but fortunately some have come out reasonably well.

So thank you snow shower(-:).



Birding Blog here.

Flickr photos here.

  • Fabulous photos and video Bob that water  rail is amazing and I just love the swans on ice, not as elegant as in the air LOL

    Of all creatures, man is the most detestable, he is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain.
    ~ Mark Twain

  • Good stuff , Bob. I particularly like the three swans in flight (2nd shot)

    My gallery here

    Checkout the forums' Community HOMEPAGE for lots of interesting posts from other members.

  • In reply to doggie:

    I hardly know where to start. Let's just say they are all amazing and leave it at that. The wren does get the cute award though.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • In reply to monkeycheese:

    A really successful day for you there Bob - glad your patience was rewarded with a sighting of the water rail at the end.  Lovely to watch the videos - it seems quite steady on the ice!  You've got a great variety of birds there.

    See my Flickr photos here


  • In reply to ChristineB:

    Fabulous - thank you!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Fantastic pics Bob! I've never even seen some of those birds before! Brilliant! Thank you :)

  • Fantastic photos Bob,for a quite day there was plenty about,dont know which photos I like the best as they are all good,and well done on getting the water rail.


  • In reply to bob's_retired_now:

    Brilliant photos Bob! The buzzard has to be impressive to seen The swans made me laugh with their landings! The wing span is quite big and great to see them like that. Glad you had a good day, it paid off well!

    Cheers, Jason

  • In reply to bob's_retired_now:

    bob's_retired_now said:
    I must practice video with the camera. I keep trying to adjust focus by pressing the shutter button halfway as on the compact camera we have, but that don't work- I should be using MF(-:). That's why the videos were short - the bird quickly went out of focus. Must practice, not that I intend to try and turn the camera into a video recorder(-:).

    I'm disappointed with the videos produced by my DSLR too. My little compact does a better job. I used to make lots of videos in the days of VHS tape , so it's not that I don't know what I'm doing. I think the moral is if you want to shoot good video buy a video camera.... preferably one with a viewfinder not just an LCD screen.

    My gallery here

    Checkout the forums' Community HOMEPAGE for lots of interesting posts from other members.